Islamic group calls for efforts to revamp economy

Luqmon Balogun, Lagos

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A faith-based group, The Muslim Congress, TMC says Nigeria must tap into it’s enormous natural resources and human capacity to galvanize a robust economy.

The group in her quarterly state of the nation address, explained that government has so far fared well in some sectors and needed more political will to advance the development of the nation.

Addressing journalists, the President (Amir) of TMC, Dr. Luqman Abdul Raheem started with the closure of Nigerian land boarder which he described as a commendable move as he stressed the need to develop local capacity.

He said the closure should be a temporary approach, while a permanent solution is sought.

Minimum wage
“If you are at the corridor of power and you are a technocrats, you will realise that Nigeria has potentials but has not been properly harnessed. Infact, we can pay one hundred thousand naira minimum wage if we are able to get our act together.

“We have so many national corporations in various sectors, we can feed the whole of West Africa and can afford to pay more than one hundred thousand naira minimum wage.” he said.

Abdul Raheem who is also the Chairman of the Committee on Social Mobility, Economy and Politics of the group, mentioned the need to revive Nigeria’s economy by a way of improving it’s national corporations handling various key sectors.

Nigeria at 59
TMC commended governance in the country in almost six decades ago, stressing that the nation has advanced as a nation in terms of credit financing especially for SMEs, increase in Agricultural production, enhancement in training and equipment for the armed forces among others.

The group urged people not to lose hope in the country, but to rekindle the spirit of patriotism and support path towards contributing to the progress and development of the nation.

Proposed Tax increase
“The people are facing the burden of multiple levies and taxes that have the effect of reducing the purchasing power of the people and eroding their desire for quality living. A balance will not be achieved by making the people bear the burden of more taxes but by government creatively reducing the cost of governance at all levels,”
he stated.

The group seeks reduction in the number of elective offices particularly the House of Representatives and the Senate, in other to adjust the amount being spent on emolument and allowances of members of the National Assembly.

Budget presentation
On the early presentation of fiscal budget for 2019 to the joint session of the National Assembly, the group called for the need to return to a January to December budget cycle, hoping that the budget might be a departure from the old ways of administration, given the seriousness on the part of the Nigerian Government and the National Assembly.

Sex for marks
According to the group, “The BBC Sex-For-Gtades report has further highlighted what we already know to be happening in our universities. The sex-for-marks crisis rocking our universities needs to be tackled headlong in two ways.

“First, any lecturer found culpable should be suspended by the respective institution of learning and made to defend himself at the court of law. If the person is proved guilty, he faces the penalty stipulated by the law.”

The group noted that the 2016 ‘Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Education Institution Prohibition Bill’ which stipulates a five-year jail term for any lecturer, educationist or person in a position of authority in any Tertiary institution in Nigeria found guilty of such conduct, should be activated.

Also, female students who are found guilty of seducing lecturers or contravening school codes of dressing, where there is one, according to the group, should be made to face the music.

The TMC also announce the 25th edition of it’s annual National Islamic Training Programme, billed to take place in December, 2019 with expectations of about eight to nine thousand participants.

Confidence Okwuchi