Nigeria’s Christian Leaders Push for Economic Policies that Address “prevailing hardships”

Credit: CAN

Christian leaders in Nigeria are calling on the government to formulate economic policies that will address the country’s “prevailing hardships”.

In a statement, officials of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), which includes representatives of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), say that while the government has to make tough economic decisions, “there is the urgent need to prioritise measures that will alleviate rather than exacerbate the existing poverty level and hardships of Nigerians.” 

“It is therefore imperative that economic policies are formulated and implemented with utmost care and consideration for the prevailing hardships experienced by Nigerians,” they say in the July 22 statement that CAN President, Archbishop Daniel Okoh, signed.

The Christian leaders highlight the recent removal of fuel subsidies as one of the policies that has placed an “enormous burden” on already struggling Nigerians.

On June 1, Nigeria’s Federal Government removed a fuel subsidy that saw petrol trade at N197. Following the subsidy removal, fuel prices rose to N540 (0.68 USD).


In their statement, CAN officials say that when Nigerians were adjusting to the N540 fuel price and its effect on the cost of living, the cost of petrol was hiked to N617 (0.78 USD).

They say that while the “removal of fuel subsidy had become inevitable if the Nigerian economy is to experience sustainable growth”, it needs to be done in a way that will not subject citizens of the country to “unnecessary hardships”. 

“While we agree that there is no gain without pain, the pain must not be unbearable. Consequently, we again urge the government to take into account the impact of its policies on the most vulnerable segments of society, and ensure they are not disproportionately burdened and subjected to unnecessary hardships,” CAN officials say. 

They also call on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led government to take into consideration “the concerns of the Nigerian people and implement sound economic policies that prioritize the well-being of all citizens.”

“By addressing the prevailing hardships caused by the recent fuel price hikes and high inflation, we can pave the way for a brighter future for Nigeria,” Nigeria’s Christian leaders say, and urge the government to “engage with critical stakeholders in a meaningful dialogue to explore sustainable solutions to the current situation.”

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They further say that the State and national governments need to “develop comprehensive economic policies that promote inclusive growth, job creation, and social well-being.” 

“Government should focus on diversifying the economy, reducing dependency on volatile commodities, and promoting investments in sectors with the potential to create sustainable employment opportunities,” CAN officials say, adding that this will contribute to the well-being of Nigerians.”

They also urge the government to go beyond cash transfers in providing fuel subsidy palliatives.

Nigeria’s National Executive Council announced the decision to give N8,000 (12.18 USD) to 12 million poor Nigerians to help cushion the effects of the removal of fuel subsidies.

In place of cash transfers, the Christian leaders say the governments “should consider introducing mass transport across the states to reduce the cost of transportation.” 


“The multiplier effect of this will be profound,” they say, and call upon citizens of Africa’s most populous nation to exercise patience as government works on making the economic situation better.

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.