Nigeria’s challenges surmountable with faith, unity —TMC

From left, guest lecturer and Chief Imam, Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Oyo State, Dr Bashir Olanrewaju; representative of the Chief Imam of Ibadanland, Dr Abdul Waheed Ahmad Rufai and former head of The Muslim Congress (TMC), Oyo State, Dr Zaynul Abideen Abdul Ganiy, at the annual Independence Day lecture of the TMC, in Ibadan, recently.

THE challenges facing Nigeria are surmountable if Nigerians can work together irrespective of political, religious and ethnic divides to build a nation where every person is a friend to the other.

The Muslim Congress (TMC) took this position at its quarterly briefing on the state of the nation wherein it also congratulated Nigerians on the 56th Independence anniversary of the country and felicitated with Muslims as they witness another Hijrah year.

The chairman of the organisation’s Committee on Social Mobility, the Economy and Politics, Dr Luqman AbdurRaheem, who presented the address in Lagos, said the challenges of the present time required that Nigerians be united in thought and spirit and have firm faith in the country’s unity and progress.

“We are confident that by Allah’s grace, and our commitment to the principles of hard work, discipline, honesty and integrity, we are going to smile at the end of the day when our present challenges would have been behind us.

“But the challenges of the present time require that we must be steadfast and united in forging a nation of people who are united in thought and spirit. We must work towards and also have firm faith in our unity and progress. There is every need for Nigeria to remain a strong and united entity that is able to withstand the problems of nation-building and one that forges a land of peace, prosperity and progress for everyone,” Dr AbdurRaheem said.

To get out recession, he said the government should be ready to let the people know that everyone has got to roll up their sleeves for the task ahead since there is a lot of hard work to be done.

The government, he said, would need to pursue the diversification of the economy so as to have multiple revenue sources.

“The multiple revenue sources would include agriculture, mining, manufacturing and tourism. There is the need to motivate companies in these sectors by making loans easily available and supporting them to access technical know-how and managerial competence.

“International investors who are serious, willing and experienced should also be sought through the provision of an enabling environment that is conducive and mutually beneficial,” he added.

According to AbdurRaheem, it is also the suggestion of the TMC for the government “to fully embrace a dual financial system by adding Islamic finance to the conventional system. This will enable us to have a robust economic system that is fully responsive and suitable to our needs as a nation.”

“We will realise that Britain and Germany are competing to be the Islamic finance hub of the world. The two most important parts of the Islamic finance world are banking services and the Sukuk market (the Islamic equivalent of the bond market) which account for around 95 per cent of the $1.8 trillion worth of Islamic finance assets as at the end 2013. There, is therefore, no reason why Nigeria should not be one of the leading countries in Islamic finance since there is a lot for everyone to benefit, especially including protection from economic meltdown,” he added.

The Yaba College of Education (YABATECH) Senior Lecturer described the new Hijrah year as an opportunity for Muslims to commemorate their achievements and to chart the way forward as they prepare for new paradigms in their existence as Muslims and as a nation.

“As part of our contributions towards nation-building, we are using the opportunity of the Muharram Get-Together holding at the Onikan Stadium in Lagos to discuss on “The Muslim World and the Challenges of Leadership” on Sunday, 30 October, 2016 at 9 a.m. Some of the expected erudite speakers at the occasion are Professor AbdulHafiz Oladosu and Honourable (Dr) AbdulHakeem Abdul Lateef,” the scholar said.

Meanwhile, the TMC) has described as unacceptable the death of six persons in Isolo, Lagos, to cholera last month.

Dr AbdurRaheem said such death was avoidable if the government had lived up to its expectation.

He, therefore, urged government to declare a state of emergency in the supply of pipe-borne water to the people.

“If we take a cursory look at the provision of pipe-borne water in the states, we will realise that this is one area that has been largely neglected. This neglect comes with the attendant health risks and the stress that people undergo in the search for quality drinking water,” Dr AbdurRaheem said.