The Director of Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) Prof. Ishaq Akintola has said that Nigerians had no business being poor, as God has blessed the country with immense natural resources.
Akintola in his sallah message to celebrate Eid-el-Kabir in Lagos, noted that the country was producing 2.4 million barrels of oil per day and selling the oil at N93.61 per barrel, equaling $224 million from daily oil sales.
“This daily income from oil gives us 81 billion dollars or N12.8 trillion per annum”
Despite this huge income, Akintola noted that it was sad that Nigeria remains the 20th hungriest nation and the 26th poorest country in the world.
“If our budget for the 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 MURIC director said.
According to him, the sum of $1 billion loan recently approved by the Senate for President Goodluck Jonathan to buy weapons to fight Boko Haram was a bad adventure and was uncalled for.
Speaking further on the challenges facing the country, Akintola noted that 70 percent of Nigerian school children failed in the last West African Examination Council tests, with about one million Nigerians totally blind, while 32 million Nigerians have river blindness and 300,000 killed by malaria every year.
Speaking further on the state of things in the country, 80 million Nigerians live below poverty level and the average Nigerian lives on less than one dollar per day. Sad still, life span in Nigeria which was 74 before independence is now 47.
He therefore urged the government to wake up to its “responsibilities and do the needful for the masses rather than think of their pockets or personal gains.”
Akintola also urged the government to imbibe the core lessons of the Eid-el-Kabir, which are sacrifice and welfare of citizens.
The lessons, according to him, could be demonstrated by the government, by reducing the salaries and allowances of public officers and members of the National Assembly. He said such money can be used to better the lots of Nigerians.