‘With 2.4m barrels of oil per day Nigeria has no business being poor’

Lagos – A religious group, the Muslim Rights Concern
(MURIC) on Saturday urged government to imbibe the core
lessons of the Eid-el-Kabir — sacrifice and welfare of
citizens.
The Director of MURIC, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, gave the advice
in his sallah message to celebrate Eid-el-Kabir in Lagos.
Akintola said that government could demonstrate the lesson
of sacrifice by reducing the salaries and other emoluments
of public officers and members of the National Assembly.
According to him, such money can be used to better the lots
of Nigerians.
“We remind Nigerian leaders of the core lesson of Eid-el-
Kabir, which is sacrifice.
“Prophet Ibraheem, who is the father of the Ibrahimic faiths
remains a universal model today because of the huge
sacrifice he made by offering to sacrifice his son.
“His exemplary role therefore, became a model for both
Muslims and Christians.
“ This is because the same Ibraheem (Abraham) was the
father of both Ishaq and Ismail (Isaac and Ishmael), who
were the fore bearers of Christianity and Islam, respectively.
“Unless our leaders follow the Abrahamic model, the citizen
will continue to wallow in poverty.’’
Akintola decried the high rate of poverty among Nigerians.
He said that Nigerians had no business being poor when the
country was producing 2.4 million barrels of oil per day and
selling the oil at N93.61 per barrel.
According to him, Nigeria even makes 224 million dollars
per day from the sale of oil alone.
“This daily income from oil gives us 81 billion dollars or
N12.8 trillion per annum.
“It is sad that Nigeria remains the 20th hungriest nation and
the 26th poorest country in the world.
“ If our budget for year 2014 is N4.6 trillion and our annual
income from oil alone is N12.8 trillion, what business have
we going out to borrow a single dollar from outside.
“The sum of one billion dollar loan approved by the Senate
for President Goodluck Jonathan to buy weapons to fight
Boko Haram was therefore, a bad adventure.
“Seventy per cent of Nigerian school children failed in the
last West African Examination Council tests. One million
Nigerians are totally blind.
“Thirty-two million Nigerians have river blindness. 300,000
die of malaria every year. 30 million are hypertensive. Four
million suffer from diabetes. 80 million Nigerians live below
poverty level.
“The average Nigerian lives on less than one dollar per day
and life span in Nigeria which was 74 before independence
is now 47.
“Our government should wake up to their responsibilities
and do the needful for the masses rather than think of their
pockets or personal gains.’’
Akintola urged political leaders to strive to deliver on their
electoral promises so that Nigeria could enjoy the gains of
democracy as obtainable in developed countries. (NAN)

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