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Drop in Oil Revenue Worrisome – Muslim Professionals


By Ayo Balogun

The downward trend in the country’s revenue following decline in oil prices and rampaging oil theft has been identified as a source of grave concern to all well meaning Nigerians.

The development has also raised the question of diversification of the nation’s economy “from preponderance dependence on oil revenue to other non-oil revenue activities”.

These are the views of The Companion – an Association of Muslim professionals, in a press release issued in Lagos Friday evening by its National President, Barrister Musibau Oyefeso, to mark the commencement of the new Muslim Hijrah calendar – 1436 AH.

The association noted that the disturbing trend was coming at a time when the focus of Nigerian leaders has shifted from governance to electioneering and political campaign.

It therefore called on political parties to make the upcoming campaign issues-based as well as come up with blue prints on how to “truly diversify the economy to earn foreign exchange from non-oil exports so as to absolve” the economy from the vagaries of international oil prices.

The group equally called on the political parties, Police, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other stakeholders to tread cautiously as the country matches to electioneering period and prepares for the conduct of general elections in few months time.

“Politicians must be mindful of their conduct and utterances in order not to plunge the country into violence and crisis as we have witnessed in the past. They and their supporters must be constantly conscious of the fact that violence is an ill wind that blows nobody any good.

“We must learn not only from the misconduct and mistakes of our past but also from other countries of the world where electioneering and elections are conducted in atmospheres of peace and tranquility. INEC must also be impartial and must create a level playing ground for all political parties. The political campaigns must be violence free and the elections must be transparent and credible” The Companion advises.

Barrister Oyefeso renewed the group’s call to the government at all levels and other stakeholders to collaborate and work diligently to ensure the release of the Chibok Girls and others who have been held hostage by the Boko Haram insurgents.

The Companion reminded the Federal Government that the security and welfare of the citizens were the primary responsibilities of government above anything else, urging it not to allow the campaign, political rallies and other electioneering activities lose focus on the release of the girls.

“They deserve to be free and re-unite with their families. The on-going negotiation and cease fire deal must be pursued vigorously to a logical conclusion and concrete results are achieved. Those who are alleged to be pursuing selfish agenda must do a re-think for the sake of humanity” stressed the organization.

The professional body which commended the Nigerian government for successful curtailment of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in the country, urged Muslims to reflect on their lives in the past one year and beyond, therefore resolve to be “better Muslims in worship and conduct”.

It also called on all Muslims to take advantage of being alive to witness the New Year as an opportunity to collaborate with one another and make greater positive impacts on their neighbours, immediate environment and the society at large, despite greater commitment to selfless service to the community and assisting the less privileges ones as well as the difficult times in the country.

Meanwhile, the organization has called on the Federal and other state governments to declare the New Hijrah Year Day, a public holiday as already being practised by some states in the country, stating this would bring about “equity and parity with our Christian counterpart”.

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