Beloved Children of the Most High God, we appreciate the Almighty God for the special grace accorded us to see yet another year.  God has lavished His love and grace upon us, therefore, we must be grateful as a Nation despite our numerous challenges, God is sustaining us.

When someone promises to give you a gift, before you begin to celebrate, find out whether the fellow has the wherewithal to fulfil the promise, or else you may be disappointed.  The good news is that the Almighty God, who knows no impossibility, said in Isaiah 43: 19, that He would do a new thing for His children this year.

However for something new to happen, the old must give way.  In Genesis 32: 24-28, the angel said to Jacob that his old name must give way for a new one.  The Lord said this same thing to his grandfather and grandmother – Abraham, and Sarah, whose names were changed from Abram and Sarai respectively.  The old names that have brought misfortune and agony to our country will change this year in Jesus’ name.

We must let go of our old ways of living if we want to experience a glorious new beginning this year.  Our old ways of thinking and our old ways of doing things, especially our ungodly behavior, must give way.

This past year, our dear country has weathered through all kinds of storms and has survived, including the storms of wanton destruction of lives and properties, kidnapping, rise in crime due to the increasing rate of unemployment, insurgency and economic depression.  God is always on our side and there is light at the end of tunnel if we all rise to do what is right and proper as a people and as a Nation.  Corruption is a chronic disease in our nation and it must be cured in order to progress in all sectors of the country.  Obtaining legality through illegality in our society has eaten deeply to the extent that before people leave public offices, they recycle family members to cover their looting and misdeeds.

Inflation knows no boundaries and indeed, it is recognized that a measure of inflation is good to stimulate economic growth, but the problem arises when the general level of goods and services rises above five percent every year.  In our country today, the general price  level often rises above 10 percent annually, while inflation  rate for average family book basket has generally been in excess of l0 percent.  Let me make this call to our leaders on sound economic framework for Nigeria our beloved country.  We should be an irreducible minimum that every Nigerian should have a guarantee of adequate and affordable food, health care, housing, education, transport telephone and internet access.  But as plans to expand local capacity for crude oil processing progress, government’s economic planners must key into the world’s unstoppable zooming into the age of production and consumption of alternative energies, gas, solar and wind.  These energy sources are cleaner and cheaper.  While gas is available in more plentiful supply than fossil oil, solar and wind energy are renewable and inexhaustible.  Keying into this trend is a realistic, killer economic ace for Nigeria.

Also the decision of President Muhammad Buhari to join the global Open Government Partnership (OGP) has a strong potential to end systemic corrupt practices of contract inflation, mismanagement and non-implementation of policies in the public service.

We respectfully advise the Nigerian government to take further steps as needed, to ensure that there is an inclusive framework with extensive input from society, to achieve the development and subsequent implementation of a bold action plan for the Open Government Partnership.  This will validate the Buhari government’s interest in doing things differently and making a break with the past.

My dear country men and women let me leave you with this prophetic word of God as proclaimed by prophet Isaiah “Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hills made low the rough ground shall become level and the rugged places a plain and the glory of the Lord will be revealed and all mankind together will see it, for mouth of the Lord has spoken it”

Once again, I wish you all a glorious, happy, peaceful and prosperous new year.

 The Most Revd.  Dr. Ephraim Adebola Ademowo, OON, FNAL

Diocesan Bishop of Lagos and Dean Emeritus

Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion