A former chairman of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Lagos State chapter and General Overseer of Powerline Bible Church, Lagos, Bishop Lawrence Osagie has lamented the current economic hardship in the country describing Nigeria as a mother with no breasts.He therefore called on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign from office as such is the most honourable thing for him to do.
Addressing newsmen in Lagos recently, the cleric said that “selfishness is one of the major problems in Nigeria” insisting that the nation’s wealth is being siphoned by the few in power.
However, he congratulated the federal government on the rebased Gross Domestic Products (GDP) which initially put Nigeria as the biggest economy in Africa — displacing South Africa from the top spot.
South Africa is currently the largest economy on the continent.
According to him, the development is well-deserved adding that “being the number one economy in Africa is well-deserved because an ordinary Nigerian on the street is very hard-working.”
Osagie urged the government to take advantage of the current economic status of the country and make the best out of it.
He said that with Nigeria’s increasing population, the level of excruciating poverty and misery would be hard to curtail if the right economic policies are not put in place adding that economic misfortune breeds terrorism among the less privileged class because people were artificially pauperized.
The cleric cited the Boko Haram insurgents and the activities of the Niger Delta militants as cases in point.
He said “looking at the way the economy is drifting, and no decisive action is being taken on the fiscal side, very soon, workers will begin agitation for wage increase, prices will go up, cost of living will rise further. The cost and the burden on the general welfare of the Nigerian people will be such that it will spark off general protest that will be common place in this 2017 and beyond.
“A stitch in time, they say, saves nine” while urging President Muhahammadu Buhari to respectfully resign with dignity from office so that a much more healthy and physically fit person can take over the affairs of Nigeria.
He said “the impact of the rebased economy should be seen on the ordinary man on the street. Government should shift attention on paper qualification and focus on skill acquisition “.
He described policy inconsistencies on the part of successive governments as utterly responsible for the nation’s economic woes. “We should address the issue of poverty, security, education and power. Unstable power supply does not portray us as a serious- minded people,” he stated.
Osagie, who is also the Presiding Bishop and founder of the Powerline Bible Church added that the present government should also blame themselves for the nation’s appalling predicaments and economic recession.
He wondered why Nigerian governments should continue to borrow huge sums of money to settle wage bills rather than focusing on projects that promote economic and human development, such as building hospitals and providing better support for the educational sector.
He attributed the nation’s social and economic predicaments to endless policy inconsistencies pointing out that many of the wrong economic decisions taken by those who believed that they had the acumen to perform wonders had abysmally ruined the economic potential of the nation at the expense of the national interest, regretting that there was a glaring systemic failure in the way economic policies were being implemented.
“What is happening at present is like giving a driving license to a driver that does not have the knowledge to drive a car. One should only expect to bear the unpleasant consequences. As a matter of fact, Nigeria as a promising developing economy is on the brink,” the cleric lamented.
He stated further that the shady deals perpetrated in the name of foreign exchange subsidy have only provided the elitist class the opportunity and leeway to reap huge profits while the attendant devaluation of the Naira has propped up a cabal to milk the treasury dry.
According to him, maintaining the subsidy regime has made some citizens billionaires over night. Osagie said commodity-based Nigerian economy has lost considerable leverage due to over reliance on oil to survive and that non-commodity other African economies were gradually becoming the fastest growing economies in the world.
He noted that colonialism has wreaked havoc on Nigeria as a nation-state after decades of pillage and systematic plunder by blatantly taking away the nation’s treasure-troves and shipping them back into foreign countries for Nigerians to patronize.
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