Nigeria News

Dearth of Industries And The Rage On Churches

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Nigeria News takes a look at the dearth of industries and the rage on churches.

I have read in the last few days the attack on some Nigeria Pentecostal Churches. This came shortly after the Dunamis International Gospel Centre announced the inauguration of the world largest church auditorium in Abuja.

The founder of the church, Dr Paul Enenche must have battled the influx of worshippers in the smaller dome before finally concluding to build the 100, 000 capacity seat dome in the country’s capital, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The inauguration brought in clerics and politicians together, including Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and state governors.

Expectedly, Eneche, a humble cleric was blessed by the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye while Bishop of the Faith Tabernacle, aka Winners Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo eulogized God on the new feat of the church in Nigeria. His is 50, 000 capacity.

But Nigerian masses criticized the inauguration of the new dome and rained venom of attacks on those who preach and build churches instead of building schools and hospitals for the teeming uneducated and unhealthy citizens.

Yes, it seems the critics have some good points but let us pause and ask, if the churches close shops today, will the factories return automatically? Nature abhors the vacuum and if we venture to reflect deeply, we should be grateful it’s religious centres that replaced the factories. The churches didn’t force the factories out, did they?

I think it is misplaced priorities to be mad at the churches. Instead, we should be mad at the conditions that forced the factories out. We should be mad at leaders who stole public funds and still stealing it to the detriment of the poor masses.

There is the need to look back at those policies by the past military dictators that introduced the Structural Adjustment Programme, which killed local industries and forced out foreign investment out of Nigeria.

The former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae is still living with his boss, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida. We can start by being mad at them and let’s demand at least an apology for throwing Nigeria into an economic stupor.

Not only did SAP forced the factories out, but it also started the brain drain saga in Nigerian universities. Academics ran away because there were no grants to do research anymore. We must not forget that many of the Small Scale Businesses that grew in Nigeria were cooked by research institutes like the Federal Institute of Research Oshodi, Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, National Institute of Social and Economic Research. It was a marriage of Gown and Town.

Now imagine that more than 30 years after SAP, Nigeria has not even reversed the situation but has in fact institutionalized it. This is what we should be mad at. That we have policies that make local businesses uncompetitive due to high operating costs, therefore making imported goods even cheaper than locally produced ones. That we have policies that allow goods that we can SUFFICIENTLY produce locally to be imported (e.g pencil) thereby exposing such businesses to foreign competitions while banning the importation of goods we cannot produce sufficiently (e.g cement). Our policies created monopolies in almost all sectors thereby making competition almost impossible. If you have billions to invest, will you put it in such a business environment?

What this means is that the best of our people in terms of skills are not in this country. Those of us who decide to stay back are seen as fools. Ask any SME for their biggest headache, it’s not even capital, it’s the difficulty in finding the right hands. If you have billions to invest, will you put it in such an environment?

Let’s reflect deeply and redirect our anger to the root causes. Else, we continue to treat ringworm, while leprosy fester.

As a matter of fact, the churches have not done well anyway. The educational institutions built by many churches are not for the poor. Their hospitals are for the higher class. The church has greatly capitalized on the gullibility of an average Nigerian to make money and build bigger domes instead of factories that can create jobs.

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