The Muslim Congress (TMC), a religious-based organisation has recommended an eight-point agenda for President Muhammadu Buhari, who was inaugurated into the office for a second term of four years on Wednesday in Abuja.
The eight-point recommendation is contained in a statement issued by Dr Luqman AbdurRaheem, the Amir (President) of the organisation and made available to The Renaissance in Lagos.
“This represents a proposal to His Excellency to practically address the socio-economic challenges facing Nigeria as a multi-ethnic and multi-religious entity.
“As we laud the anti-corruption strategies of this administration, there is a need to create more opportunities and jobs through creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation.
“We are optimistic that giving the abundant human and material resources in Nigeria, the 8-Point recommendations proposed hereunder are realisation and achievable,” the statement read in part.
The recommendations include Agricultural intensification and expansion for Export; Adequate Electricity and Electrification; Spiritual and Intellectual Dimensions to Insecurity and Technological Innovation Hubs Support.
Others are the Need to Revamp the National Orientation Agency (NOA); Intensify War Against Cyber-Crime and Child Trafficking; Affordable Healthcare and Education as well as the need to address the Zamfara State Banditry.
According to TMC, the Federal Government has been able to sustain deep agricultural policies that have led to stable food supplies in terms of prices and availability.
However, “more needs to be done in the areas of transport networks, storage and export of agricultural produce.
“The value addition created from the chain will significantly improve from good rail and water transportation, creation of food storage facilities, thereby leading to increasing potentials for more exports, after local demands have been met.
“Specialised banks, such as Agricultural Export Banks to complement the efforts of the Bank of Industry (BOI) need to be established for foreign exchange earnings.”
On electrification, TMC noted that the issue of unstable electricity has been allowed to linger on for too long in Nigeria, given the abundant energy potentials for electricity generation and distribution.
“We propose a review of the licences for GENCOS and DISCOS upon expiry towards efficiency and customer satisfaction and providing adequate value for money.
“Furthermore, there is need to expand transmission and improve the quality of its services to guarantee at least 18 hours of electricity supply on a daily basis,” it recommended.
On insecurity, AbdurRaheem said there was no doubt that the insurgency in the North East had been militarily and technically defeated.
“But has it been intellectually and spiritually defeated?
“The Book haram extremist ideology needs to be fought on an intellectual, thought and ideological level.
“Their evil narratives and false interpretation of the peaceful religion of Islam needs to be effectively countered with moderate narratives amongst the youth.
“We need to identify and promote balanced scholars and Islamic education in Nigeria. Nigeria is blessed with thousands of these balanced preachers from renowned Arabic Schools.
“These Arabic schools need to be morally and financially supported such that they are integrated into the conventional school system in Nigeria.
“This approach we believe should also go our Christian brothers to suppress the extremist using Christianity as guise in the name of IPOB.
On the recommendation bordering on technological innovation hubs support, the organisation noted that such innovation hub would reduce importation of phones and accessories, saving the nation’s reserves from being import dependent.
“There are estimated 50 million users of mobile gadgets, all of which are imported.
“Creating and supporting these hubs in the six geopolitical zones of the nation will not only make Nigerians secure the value chain but can subsequently develop skills in Big Data, drone technology and artificial intelligence.
“The nation’s security and data are therefore guaranteed.
“It can employ over 300,000 youths in two years reducing the level of employment by at least 26 per cent in three years.
“In addition, commercial banks, Venture capitalist and Angels will be encouraged to support the sector to ensure competition for value among start-ups and entrepreneurial firms.
“The depth of skilled and semi-skilled personnel to developed and manage these hubs are in our colleges, universities and informal computer villages.”
On the need to revamp the NOA, it said that the “power of the pulpit” has not been truly given the attention it deserves and must not be underestimated in Nigeria as thousands of imams relate with millions of worshipers on a regular basis.
“We wish to strongly suggest that there should be a department in the NOA that is responsible for how the messages of the Government can be reliably transmitted through the Pulpit.
“We suggest that a “Nigeria First” Project/Slogan, through the Pulpit, can further cement the spirit of Nationhood, sacrifice and citizenship in Nigeria.
Explaining the sixth recommendation, the Amir noted that the rate at which Nigerian youths engage in the nefarious act of cyber-criminality was very worrisome.
“A way to tackle this negative trend, beyond the good works of security agencies, is to create a platform for IT savvy youth in the ministry of communication to re-channel their IT skills into positive us.
“In the same vein, the Federal Government should intensify was against child trafficking.
“The Government is doing well in the feeding project in primary schools.
“However, the Ministry of Education in conjunction with the police should make sure that no child is seen roaming the streets of Nigeria during school hours.
“The Girl-child education must be made compulsory up to secondary school level.”
Also on the affordable education and healthcare, TMC recommended a giant stride by the federal government at the three levels of education.
“More still need to be done in the areas of infrastructure, staffing and capacity-building for teachers and lecturers.
“For a sustainable healthcare delivery system, there is a need to equip the hospitals and clinics with the latest equipment and machinery.
“Enhancing training and staffing, as well as improving the functionality of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
“Considering, the wealth of the nation, it would be a good idea to consider subsidy for basic healthcare services like antenatal care, maternal care, paediatric care, elderly care,” it recommended.
Lastly on the Zamfara State Banditry and others, the TMC salute the effort of the government in curbing the killings in Zamfara.
“Going forward, we propose that a special security fund for Zamfara be created to provide state of the art gadgets and equipment for the State to combat in bandits.
“The same proactive measure should be extended to other States where cattle rustling and banditry are pronounced.
The organisation congratulated President Buhari on his inauguration into the office for a second term, praying that Allah in His infinite mercy would see him through the next four years in the saddle.
By Oluwashina Iyanda
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