•Tasks Muslim Professionals on Wealth creation
By Ebele Orakpo
THE 2017 edition of the annual luncheon/public lecture of the Lagos chapter of the Obafemi Awolowo University (formerly University of Ife) Muslim Graduates’ Association (UNIFEMGA) held on April 30 in Lagos with the theme: ‘Strategic Imperatives and Opportunities for Investments and Wealth Creation by Nigerian Muslim Professionals in Lagos.’
With the state of the economy, the lecture focused on encouraging the diversification of the Nigerian economy while advising members to look inwards and make the best of the opportunities presented by the current economic downturn.
The guest speaker and Permanent Secretary, Office of Overseas Affairs and Investment, Lagos State, Alh. Abdul Ahmed Mustapha said Islam encourages adherents to be resourceful and regard wealth as God’s blessing. He urged Muslims to lay their hands on any legitimate venture that can afford them wealth and financial independence, noting that Islam abhors laziness and idleness.
Mustapha said government was working hard towards providing safe and conducive environment for businesses through security and rapid infrastructure development.
He said all Lagos residents, including UNIFEMCA members can access the Employment Trust Fund which provides N5million capital annually for young entrepreneurs to establish small scale industries across the state.”
He stated that the Ministry of Wealth Creation had been providing various platforms for people to reach the highest level in their creative and productive engagements, noting that the ministry recently opened an online platform for creative artisans in the informal sector to make it easy for people to access their services.
In her remarks, chairperson of the occasion, and chairman of Access Bank Nigeria Plc, Mrs Mosun Bello-Olusoga expressed concern over what she termed the weakening of the Islamic religion which she blamed on adherents’ lack of seriousness.
“Whether we like it or no, it is our responsibility to make sure that anybody who comes in contact with us sees Islam in us first before any other thing. It’s not about the hijab we wear, it’s not about the beard or the fabric trousers. It is about how we behave; it is about the goodness people see in us,” she said.
“We need to be ambassadors of Islam. There is pride in being a Muslim. Never be apologetic about who you are and about your beliefs. It is our responsibility to ensure that other Muslims are brought up.” She called on Muslims to be properly educated in both contemporary and Islamic education so as to properly fit into society.
The event which attracted about 200 people also had in attendance some dignitaries like UNIFEMGA chairman, Board of Trustees, Alh. Rafi Abita, LOC chairman, Mr. Muhammad Bari, national president, Alh. Abdulwhat Odeyimka, UNIFEMGA Lagos Chairman, Mr. Taiwo Ayanboade, Alh. and Alhaja Tunde Popoola, Chairman, Obafemi Awolowo University Muslim Community, Prof. Isiaka Aransi, Alh. Tonye Bamiduro amongst others.
The Chairman of the Lagos Chapter of UNIFEMGA, Alh. Tirimidh Ayanboade, explained that the association has over the years used the annual event to discuss strategic and topical national issues and proffer solutions.