Religious organisations in Nigeria have a duty of instilling morals and integrity in the society.
Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo says if those values are maintained, they will help in building the nation.
Professor Osinbajo made the remark on Wednesday, when he received a delegation of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at of Nigeria on a courtesy visit.
“In the past, religious organisations taught good morals, discipline and hard work which bring good life. If we resuscitate and maintain these values, they will be of great help to us as a nation,” he said.
According to him, the emphasis now is on pursuing other agenda, instead of building followers and that should be discouraged.
“Today, it appears that religion is just being used to pursue other agenda. I think it is very important for us to continue to emphasise on the values that will enhance the capacity of becoming good citizens,” the Vice President advised.
Responding to issues raised by the delegation on the $30 billion borrowing plan of the Nigerian Government, agriculture and job creation, the Vice President said that the issue of taking a loan was blown out of proportion.
“The loan is intended to service some government projects..The Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) was sent to the National Assembly and the borrowing plan has been made to capture projects such as Lagos-Kano rail project; the Mambila hydro electricity project and Lagos-Calabar rail project, the loan is concessional and it attracts a little interest of 1.5%,” he explained.
Professor Osinbajo said that Nigeria was in recession because of foreign exchange issue.
He commended the organisation for its thoughtful presentation and the solutions it proffered for the development of the economy.
The leader of the delegation, Dr Mashhud Adenrele Fashola said the objective of the visit was to pray for President Muhammadu Buhari and the success of his administration.
He said the group was in the seat of power to share its views on the affairs of the nation, as stakeholders, who have great regard for the top leadership.
Dr Fashola commended the President Buhari’s government for its strict adherence to the principles of transparency and accountability, and the determination to reduce import dependence as well as promoting self reliance, for development.
Speaking to State House Correspondents, Dr Fashola added his voice to the call by the Vice President on Nigerians to be patient with the harsh economy and the difficulties they were facing.
He encouraged farmers to go into cultivation of food crops to address the rising prices of food.
“If people persevere, later on, these prices will come down. This price inconsistency will give people the signal to go into agriculture and that will encourage local agricultural development. If we are complaining about rice, we have other foodstuffs; we can grow yam, sweet potato, plantain and grains as well. So why are we not producing, why do we have to import?” he said.
On divisions along religious lines in some parts of Nigeria, Dr Fashola said: “People have misunderstood religion with some of them capturing and politicising it for personal gains. Religion has the objective of promoting righteousness, making us kind-hearted and merciful. Therefore religion should unite us and people should not fight because of religion.’’