Prof. Abdul-lateef Oladimeji, the Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of Al-Hikma University, Ilorin, says insecurity is threatening the country’s agricultural sector.
Oladimeji made the submission on Saturday in Ilorin during his paper presentation at the 11th Obafemi Awolowo University Muslim Graduates’ Association (UNIFEMGA).
He spoke on: “Diabolic conspiracy of elites in fostering insecurity and poverty in Nigeria: The way out”.
Oladimeji stated that the agricultural sector holds the key to Nigeria’s drive for economic diversification.
He however observed that food production has been undermined by insecurity, particularly the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents, bandits and kidnappers.
“Farmers could no longer go to their farms and those who venture to go were either killed or kidnapped by bandits.
“The result is that today in Nigeria, we cannot feed ourselves not as a result of lack of arable lands (in abundant) but because of insecurity.
“It is true that the Buhari-led administration has some poverty alleviation programmes for the masses of this country through the various soft loans to traders, farmers and middle level businessmen.
“Unfortunately, this programme has achieved very little because of the conspiracy of elites and civil servants who corners the substantial allocation of this grants for personal purposes.
“The aim is to keep Nigerians in perpetual poverty while they continue to smile to the banks,” he said.
He also observed that tax evasion is another area by which Nigerian elites gradually, but systematically kill Nigerian economy and thereby creating poverty among the citizens.
“Recently, the Federal Inland Revenue Service Chairman declared that the agency discovered that 6,722 companies with turnover of N1 billion were not paying taxes as of May 2018.
“The result is making the poor poorer and the rich richer in Nigeria by whatever means possible,” he said.
Oladimeji stated that Allah has reminded the Muslims that He will not change the condition of any nation for better unless they are determined to change it by their actions.
He appealed to government at all tiers that security should be the greatest priority, adding if there is no security, the country will be at a standstill.
“An atmosphere of peace and tranquility is germane to development just as it is critical to harmonious living, investment flow and good governance,” he said.
Earlier in his address of welcome, Alhaji Abdulfattah Olanlege, UNIFEMGA National President, said the focus of the association would be centred on educating, empowering and empathising with the society.
Olanlege observed that the challenges of COVID-19, End-SARs and various regional security issues have bitten hard on the common man as food prices went up above 25 per cent on average.
“Animal feed materials are as high as 100 per cent. We recommend the various initiatives of the Federal Government to bring succour to the masses but note the lack of coordination and engagement of other levels of government to ensure impact is felt,” he said.
He also warned people not to be instrument of their own problems by taking advantage of any situation to inflict more hardship on their fellow masses by either increasing prices of goods astronomically at any opportunity or stealing from reserve meant for the masses.
Alhaji Kamil Olalekan, the Chairman of UNIFEMGA, Kwara chapter, stated that since 2011 when the maiden edition of the National Honors’ Day started, 145 members have so far been honoured and rewarded for their landmark achievements.
He disclosed that the vision statement of UNIFEMGA was to be the foremost Muslim Alumni Association in the World.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that highlight of the event included honours awarded to 25 members across Nigeria.
Some of the recipients of the awards included Mr Yinka Ayantola, Deputy Registrar of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife;Mr Aliu Bakau, former Chairman of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN); and Dr Bisiriyu Taleat, lecturer, School of Part-time Studies, Department of Public Administration, Oduduwa University, Ipetumodu.