Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, has enjoined Nigerians to show love and understanding to one another as Christians celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ.
In a Christmas message on Friday, Sylva urged Nigerians to eschew bitterness and embrace love and the spirit of forgiveness.
According to him, this is the season of joy, of the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.
“As Christians, we must have trust and faith in God that Nigeria will be a great country.
“This is the season to share love, forgive one another and embrace the spirit of oneness.
“Christmas symbolises giving and we must therefore share with the less privileged in the society to make the celebration more meaningful to us. It is in giving and sharing that we receive,” he said.
Sylva maintained that the way Nigeria could achieve greatness as a nation was not through attacks, promotion of hatred and condemnation.
The minister said it was, rather, through love, collective supports and sincere efforts of everyone.
He charged Nigerians to use the Christmas celebration as a time to reflect on the best path to heal the wounds of the nation.
The time for apportioning blames, according to him, is past.
He urged every Nigerian, irrespective of political and social leaning, to support the government’s efforts in finding permanent solutions to the nation’s economic and security challenges.
The minister noted that Nigeria, like every other nation of the world, was facing its own challenges.
He urged Nigerians to desist from politicising the problems, rather, use the period for sober reflection.
“We must stop the blame games and focus on how best we can collectively find lasting solutions to Nigeria’s problem.
“Nigeria belongs to all of us and we must all be sincere enough to invest in the overall development of Nigeria.
“Nobody is going to repair Nigeria for us. America has its own peculiar problems, so also is Britain, Germany and other countries of the world.
“We need to come together and set aside our differences to deal with our present problems and create the Nigeria of our dream.
“Condemnation, violence, hate speeches and attacks won’t take us anywhere,” he said.
The minister commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the giant strides he had recorded in the oil and gas sector of the nation’s economy in the last few years.
He said the Buhari-led administration truly had the interests of Nigerians at heart.
Sylva noted that for over two decades, successive governments were unable to pass into law the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
He said that the ninth National Assembly did not only pass the bill, but the President speedily signed it into law.
This, he said, showed the president’s level of commitment to the growth and development of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.
“Now that we have the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), which has set a new agenda for the oil and gas industry in Nigeria, I call on the international community to come to Nigeria to invest in this sector.
“This piece of legislation, I am sure, will stabilise the industry and create the platforms for the government and the private sector to do business, and this way, help to shore up revenue generation in the country,” the minister said. While wishing the electorate a Merry Christmas, Sylva maintained that the signing of the PIA would open the floodgate of investments in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria