‘How We Can Make Nigeria to Work’

Funmi Ogundare

A cleric of the Anglican Communion, Venerable E. Osundeyi, a Vicar of the Church’s Parish in Ajao Estate, Oshodi Archdeaconry of the Lagos West Diocese, has challenged Nigerians to make the country work at all cost notwithstanding the nature of the challenges now confronting them.

Osundeyi, who was speaking in the course of a presentation by him entitled: ‘The Present Prevailing Business Atmosphere in Nigeria: The Christian Response’, at the Oshodi Archdeaconry Joint Parish Council Conference (P.C.C) Retreat held at St. Paul/s Anglican Church, Mafoluku, Oshodi, Lagos, under the watch of Archdeacon, Ven. (Dr.) Kelvin Tope-Tapere, told Nigerians: “Our responsibility as Nigerians is to make Nigeria work, God created Nigeria and gave it to us.

“Simply put, nations are built by men and not Angels or any other beings. The gospel of the kingdom also teaches that life on earth is governed by laws called principles on the basis that men and nations transform and not regulated by certain fixed laws.

“The key driving force and bedrock of nations that will industrialise is not technology, abundance of natural resources or favourable climate.

“Economic indices by themselves do not transform nations but righteousness changes and transform nations, just as it exalts and causes a nation to rise above all others, being another word for godly and positive values epitomising integrity, honesty, diligence, delayed gratification, the fear of God and respect for rules.”

Rev. Osundeyi reminded Nigerians of Jesus Christ’s quantification of humans as the salt of the earth, praying that we do not lose the divine position in Jesus name, Amen.

Why once small reiterating the Biblical justification for doing business, noting that it’s essentially to make money, he said the Bible seriously warns against doing business in a way that dishonours  God even though it equally sees it as a normal part of human life, and an important part of development, pointing out that business, being a very good thing if done in a way that honours God.

The Cleric said by all indications and Bible passages, business is not evil but the act of some people using it to exploit others, to destroy God’s creations or for greedy purposes, stating that business can be done  and as a God’s glorifying way  and as a form of helping people out of material poverty , pointing out that businesses could provide jobs that materially help the poor, develop their lives and families, become generous stewards and bless others with fruits of their work.

Apart from stating that  business as part of man’s activities thrives in conducive and sustainable environments,  he identified some of the prevailing threats to Nigeria’s business environment, ranging from increasing crime rates as frauds and scams, corruption, terrorism, kidnapping, the herdsmen menace, inadequate good infrastructure- good roads, power, potable water above all, unfavourable government monetary and fiscal policy. 

These he has made business activities in Nigeria presently a difficult terrain, increasing cost of business financing, which has culminated in lack of capital at affordable interest rate, dollarization of the economy and current devaluation of the naira that has caused high exchange rate, the highest now in the  history of the country and inaccessibility of needed  forex  by businesses.

Other challenges as red tapism, bureaucracy that has manifested in multiple taxation and others, noting that the ensuing difficulties being experienced right now were faith challenging and could take the grace of God for one to stand tall in the midst of the storms now ravaging the economy.

The challenges raise hope in the church’s 2024 diocesan theme, which enjoins that “we must keep on  fighting the good fight of faith as children of God,” restating that no matter the complexity of the challenges, “Nigerians must bear in mind that they are  God’s regents on earth and  unequivocally take it as their responsibility to make the country work, fervently stating that the Lord was not unaware of the situation and will intervene at the appropriate time as they look unto Him for help.”

In his words, “Do not harden your heart, keep it open to God only,” reintegrating the need for faithfulness on the part of all, stressing that faithfulness and honesty are essential, being expected of a child of God to be found faithful..

“God’s presence is with those that are righteous but the perverse he looks away from .

“Do the right thing as a child of God , don’t cut corners, don’t do what God will not do, this is a testing period for our faith, please, be faithful to the end..

“Embrace godly wisdom , it is needed to navigate this time, not in the business environment alone but in all aspects of our lives, you need wisdom to invest in a profitable venture, you may need to change your line of business, you need wisdom to do that , your business may even involve partnering  with some others, you need the wisdom of God  to do that as well.

“It’s time to be fervent in prayer, praying without ceasing .

“ As you pray for yourself, you also remember to pray for our country and the leaders.

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, those that love her will prosper.

“Note that our prosperity is tied to this country , if God wants to open door for you, it’s in wherever you are situated He does it.

“Please, let’s pray more for our country and it’s leadership, this is not the time to be cursing them, when we continue cursing them, things continue to go worse.

‘There’s a need to also moderate  our spendings, let’s avoid show offs, reduce expenses, and detest extravagance.

“What we have as our situation today is not new, the people of old experienced it and navigated it without ever compromising their faith , it’s a situation that could not be permanent as it comes and go, that’s why there’s no other time for us to demonstrate our faith other than now,” the  man of God counseled, enjoining all to ensure that their approach to the prevailing challenge is godly, constructive and reflects who we are, the Salt  and the Light, praying that we do not miss heaven in Jesus Name, Amen.

The joint PPC Retreat had all of the  newly  elected  2024 Council members and priests of all of the Anglican Church Parishes in Oshodi in attendance and will consequently followed by the swearing-in of individual Parish  councils by  the churches themselves.

Related Articles