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MURIC to Muslims; Don’t Let Nigeria Fail




The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has appealed to Nigerian Muslims to do all within their power to ensure that the Nigerian project does not fail.
Prof. Ishaq Akintola, the Executive Director, MURIC, stated this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
Akintola called on Muslims in the country to work for the progress of the country and to shun all acts of economic sabotage.

“Although only the spiritually inclined are fully aware of its closeness, Ramadan 2024 is now creeping up like an underwater swimmer.
Its full manifestation on the surface is expected about five weeks from now.
“Coming at a time when Nigeria’s economy is at its lowest ebb, with the naira in free fall and prices skyrocketing, 2024 Ramadan poses a potent challenge which the Muslims have no other choice than to grapple with.
Yet it is a good opportunity for the Muslims to use the period to bring the nation’s ship which is in turbulent water to calm currents.
“This is exactly what is expected of good Muslims as Ramadan approaches and when it fully materializes. Good Muslims have no other choice. They cannot and should not join spoilers. They cannot and should not join violent demonstrators.
“The Tinubu-Shettima administration was put in place by a majority Muslim votes on Feb. 25, 2023. Therefore Muslims cannot and should not be the ones that will bring it down. Neither should they be among those who would sabotage the economy. This good Muslim majority can build a good Nigeria. Nay, it should be at the forefront of the mission to rebuild Nigeria,’’ he said.
Akintola added: “A good majority Muslim population should translate into a good Nigerian people. That is why the Glorious Qur’an says, ‘Cooperate in the doing of goodness and piety, and do not cooperate to perpetrate evil and aggression’ (Qur’an 5:2). This is what Islam instructs Muslims to do. They must build their country. They must not be part of those who want to pull it down.
“It is our firm belief that good Muslims can re-engineer the fabrics of this nation to produce a good Nigeria. We are convinced that Allah has already provided all the ingredients of greatness for our dear country. That was why He told Adam (peace be upon him), ‘There is enough for you in the land such that you will not suffer from hunger or nakedness. Neither will you suffer from thirst or the heat of the sun’ (Glorious Qur’an 20:118-119).
“Our problem has always been the modalities for harnessing those ingredients. What do we lack in Nigeria? We are robustly blessed with human and material resources. Complacency is our major problem. The people to do it are there. The tools are there. But so far we have failed to use what we have to get what we need.
“As 2024 Ramadan approaches, Nigerian Muslims must ponder over the instruction to ‘work’ which Allah told Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to tell Muslims, ‘Work, and Allah, His prophet and the believers will see your work’ (Glorious Qur’an 9:105).’’
“Allah did not tell us to sit down at home and expect manna from heaven. He told us to ‘work’ on the farmland if we want to eat. He told us to ‘work’ in the factories if we want technological breakthrough. He told us to ‘work’ by digging the earth if we want to discover hidden minerals. The keyword here is ‘work’.
“He also taught us to use the tools and ingredients which He gave us and never to allow them to be redundant. That was why He told Musa (peace be upon him) to ‘throw it’, i.e. to throw the staff in his hand when he faced the magicians of Fir’aon (Glorious Qur’an 20:19).
“Nigerian Muslims must ‘throw it’. Throw (use) the cutlasses, hoes, shovels, etc in their hands. Allah has provided us with a massive fertile and arable land. For crying out loud, this country has a total area of 923,768 square kilometers (356,669 square miles) thus making it the world’s 32nd largest country.
“Nigeria cannot lack manpower with a population of approximately 220 million people. Why then should we incur an annual food import bill of five billion dollars? Why? It is outrageous. Good Nigerian Muslims must produce food for Nigerians. Good Nigerian Muslims must make Nigeria great again’’.
“The woes of our naira require revolutionary actions. MURIC charges good Nigerian Muslims to buy made in Nigeria goods and patronize local service providers.
“We have received requests from Muslims who want MURIC to plead with the Federal Government concerning the cost of 2024 Hajj. But we are going to disappoint those who made the plea. We must be realistic. This is not the time to start making frivolous requests, particularly anything that will put additional pressure on the naira.
“We all know the rules and we know the state of the economy around the world. Hajj is the last of the five pillars of Islam and it is not compulsory if one does not have the means. What we should do if the price is too high this year is to wait for another year while we look for more money, if we can. Ceteris paribus, the naira will be stronger next year.
“Seeing the naira in such comatose condition, MURIC cannot, in good conscience, ask FG to worsen the country’s foreign exchange imbroglio by sourcing for more dollars for the hajj operation. No responsible government will do that and we will not ridicule Islam and the Ummah by making such a laughable request. The situation demands a pragmatic approach. MURIC actually suggested some years ago that FG should steer clear of Hajj. Nigerian Muslims can handle it’’.
“Nigeria will be good if the Muslims who form majority of the population are good. Peer influence will do the rest. This is the challenge facing Muslims in 2024 Ramadan. We have a chance to turn things around. It is our hope that Christian leaders will also persuade their followers to join hands with us in the onerous task of building this country. Good Muslims with Good Christians will make Nigeria a great nation.’’(NAN)


FG Revokes 924 Dormant Mining Licences as Minister Decries Racketeering




The Federal Government has revoked additional 924 dormant mining licenses.

Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Dele Alake announced this on Wednesday in Abuja as he decried the racketeering of the issuance of the licences.

He told newsmen that mining licence racketeering was impeding the development of the sector and obstructing genuine investors from showing interest in Nigeria’s mines.

Licences revoked were 528 for exploration; 22 mining leases, 101 quarry licences and 273 small-scale mining licences.

The minister explained that a grace period of 30 days was given to defaulters to rectify their statuses, and to state reasons for dormancy on the sites allocated to them in line with Constitutional provisions.

He said that 963 licences were published in the official gazette of the Federal Government in December 2023 awaiting revocation.

Out of these, only 39 of the listed licence holders responded to the warning as they either moved to site immediately or they stated challenges hindering their operations, he added.

Alake stated that the revocation of the licences was taken to sanitise and reposition the mining sector to boost Nigeria’s economic profile and to accelerate its industrialisation.

He noted that the “first-come, first-served’’ rule in the licencing regime was a disincentive for genuine investors as the rule prohibited issuance of fresh licence on a site already allocated.

The ministry revoked 1,663 mining licences in November 2023 because of failure by licensees to pay statutory charges and other dues to the Federal Government.

Alake said that following the revocation of the 1,663 licences in 2023, government received a lot of pressure to reconsider the punitive measure.

According to him, in response to the pressure, government issued a policy for defaulters to make restitution and show remorse in order to be considered for reinstatement.

He said that the restitution varied depending on the category of licence revoked.

“The highest, which is on mining attracts a restitution N10 million per revoked licence payable to the Federal Government.

“For the small-scale licences, the restitution is N7.5 million for reinstatement and for exploration licence, the restitution is N5 million,’’ Alake said.

The minister warned in his 2024 New Year goodwill message that more mining licences would be revoked for other categories of defaulters.

He warned also that Nigeria’s mining sector would not continue to suffer from low investments because of nefarious activities of individuals who bought licences for promising mine sites only to resell them at the illegal market.

He added that the practice was tarnishing Nigeria’s image and was diverting funds that could be used for exploration to the illegal market to acquire licences at exorbitant prices.

Alake stressed that Nigeria was losing a significant amount of Foreign Direct Investment to the untoward practice. (NAN)

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Sokoto Assembly Adopts Motion to Establish Skills Centre for Displaced Widows




The Sokoto State House of Assembly, on Wednesday, approved a motion advocating for the establishment of an Educational and Skills Acquisition Centre to support widows displaced by banditry and other security challenges in the state.

The motion, which was moved by Alhaji Abubakar Shehu (APC- Yabo) and seconded by Alhaji Atiku Liman (PDP-Silame), also urged the state government to repurpose the Sultan Maccido Waqf Centre for the initiative.

Shehu highlighted that the Sultan Maccido Waqf Centre, originally established by the State Zakkat and Endowment Commission in collaboration with Qatar Charity Organisations, could serve the purpose effectively.

He stated the importance of empowering widows and their children, emphasising the need to transition them from dependency to self-sufficiency.

“The conversion of the Centre into an Education and Skill Acquisition Centre for widows and children displaced by banditry is crucial to empower them economically and prevent them from becoming liability to the society,” he stated.

The lawmaker expressed concern about the sight of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the metropolis, often seen begging without access to economic activities or education.

He said the proposed center would offer training in various skills such as catering, knitting, tailoring, cream making, welding, mechanics, carpentry and building, among others.

Shehu emphasised that funding for the centre should be a joint responsibility of the state government, Zakkat Commission, international donors and individual contributions.

Contributing to the discussion, Alhaji Bello Idris (APC-Gwadabawa North) stressed the importance of conducting a comprehensive census of IDPs in the state to ensure proper support and utilisation of the centre once established.

Following deliberations, Speaker Alhaji Tukur Bala conducted a voice vote, and the motion was unanimously adopted by the lawmakers. (NAN)

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Undertake Reforms for Functional Justice System – Tinubu Tells Judiciary 




President Bola Tinubu has called on the nation’s Judiciary to embark on reforms that will ensure functional justice system and support economic growth.

Tinubu gave the charge on Wednesday when he declared open the National Summit on Justice, 2024, held at the National Judicial Institute, Abuja.

Represented by his Vice, Kashim Shettima, the President also emphasised the need for a legal framework that would guarantee basic human and political rights of individuals and provide security for all Nigerians.

According to him, much can be achieved when institutions of government, including the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, unite to acknowledge their challenges and brainstorm.

” This is with a view to proffering solutions to the problems bedeviling Nigeria,” he said.

The President, therefore, urged the judiciary to align its activities within the tenets of his administration’s Renewed Hope Agenda.

” Particularly as they relate to the priorities on inclusivity, fairness, rule of law, and anti-corruption stance, among other things”.

He said that his administration had pledged to be impartial and adhere to constitutional principles.

Tinubu said that the Summit availed institutions in the justice sector “with an opportunity to push boundaries by identifying needed system changes and critical reforms that would allow Nigerians to reap the benefits of huge investments in the sector.”

He explained that the Federal Government was determined to implement its policies and promises made to Nigerians for a renewed hope, through the instrumentality of the “law and the dictates of justice to create opportunities for our people.”

President Tinubu said that his administration made funding for the third arm of government a top priority, doubling it in the Renewed Hope budget 2024 by more that 100 per cent from 2023, budget.

” I urge the leadership of all justice sector institutions to seek a new direction and focus on outcomes by creating a justice system that truly responds to the needs of our citizens.

” I demand informed and coordinated responses to the identified challenges plaguing the effectiveness and efficiency of the sector.

” I demand performance so that Nigerians can feel and acknowledge the impact of your reform efforts.

“;Ultimately, the expectations are that law and justice should aim to ensure public safety, economic development, peaceful co-existence, and the well-being of our people.”

Earlier, the President of Senate, Godswill Akpabio commended the commitment of all stakeholders in the justice sector in building a consensus that would ensure a more robust judicial system.

He underscored the commitment of the National Assembly to a more vibrant and transformative justice system

He assured that the legislature would play its part by deliberating on the outcome of the summit in a bid to enshrine the outcomes into law.

On his part, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Okukayode Ariwoola, said giving the high expectations from the judiciary, undertaking a holistic reform of the sector had become necessary.

He noted that constitutional, statutory and operational reforms in the justice sector was imperative in meeting the aspirations and yearnings of the general public.

The CJN attributed most of the achievements recorded in the judiciary to the support of Tinubu administration, particularly in the enhancement of the welfare of judicial officers and improvement in their working environment.

In the same vein, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Lateef Fagbemi, emphasised the significance of the revised draft national policy on justice.

He noted that building a national consensus on the advancement of the justice sector has become necessary. (NAN)

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