Nigerian editors under the auspices of Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) have decried the poor state of federal roads in the South East and South South, urging the government to double up efforts towards making the roads passable. This is even as commuters have continued to go through hellish conditions travelling on these roads.
Rising from their Standing Committee Meeting in Calabar, the editors noted that there was positive development in road and rail transport in the country but urged the government “to double its efforts toward improving the state of roads nationwide especially federal roads in the South East and South South”. The Guild charged government to explore the potentials of water transport in some parts of the country to reduce the strain on the roads.
While lauding the withdrawal of the proposed legislation against online publications considered injurious to members of the society, the editors deplored the unseemly conduct of politicians in recent time, a trend that has continued to threaten the nation’s democracy.
The Guild urged Nigerian politicians to bridle their tongues and refrain from making incendiary remarks capable of over-heating an already volatile polity, stressing the need for politicians to ensure that in their utterances, correspondences and actions, the interest of the nation should take pre-eminence.
The Guild pointed out that whereas the state of insecurity in the country had been scary, there seems appreciable improvement. The editors, therefore, commended the security agencies for this positive development which gave vent to the successful conduct of council election in Yobe State recently. The body of Nigerian editors urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to take a cue from the stellar example of Yobe State and work towards the successful conduct of elections in the three Emergency states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe in 2015. It would be recalled that INEC had served notice that it would not conduct elections in the three states, a decision that has received strong condemnation from some Nigerians.
The Guild urged the Federal Government to enter into immediate negotiation with the doctors and oil workers who have served notice of imminent strike, noting that Nigerians are strike-weary.
The Guild noted with dismay that capital expenditure had dropped from 32 percent in the 2013 budget to 27 percent in the 2014 budget. It charged the federal government to ensure the implementation of its earlier promise to shore up capital expenditure.
The editors commended the Cross River State government for sustaining the annual carnival which it noted has boosted culture and tourism in the state. It urged other states to emulate Cross River State in exploring tourism as alternative revenue earner.
Meanwhile commuters have called on the federal government to rescue the federal roads in Imo, Abia and other South East states which have road transport during the Yuletide season a nightmarish experience. They described federal roads in Aba, Mbaise and other South East towns as a national shame.