The General Overseer of the Pentecostal Canaan Land Mission, Ajao Estate, Lagos, Pastor Nick Medo-Uwa, has charged the Federal Government to reconsider the closure of the nation’s borders. Speaking on the state of the nation during the church’s annual ‘Laughter’ programme, the cleric highlighted implications of the closure in the people and the nation’s economy. He also spoke on other issues.
Looking at the state of our nation today, what is your impression?
Honestly speaking, Nigeria is at the crossroads but we shouldn’t lose hope. We should keep on praying because prayer is the only weapon we have as the people of God. But our leaders should also wake up to their responsibilities to this nation and do the right thing. We are looking at the next four years of President Muhammadu Buhari and I am expecting a radical change from him. There are many things that I expect him to put in place in order to lead this nation to the path of prosperity.
There is poverty in the land and people are suffering. As a pastor, this is what I notice everyday, as I interact with the people; most people can no longer feed themselves. Many of them cannot pay their house rent and their children’s school fees and other needs of life. So many children that ought to be in schools are currently at home and when the people are under pressure of making money to meet their pressing needs, they get involved in crime; this is one of the reasons crime is in the increase in the society today.
I appeal to the governments at both federal and state levels to wake up to their responsibilities, create wealth and enabling environment for businesses and careers to thrive. We are expecting a radical change as we pray that God will give the president the wisdom and understanding to do the things expected of him in order to take Nigeria to the Next Level, as he promised.
Multiple taxations are stifling many businesses in this country and we are urging those concerned to do something about it. Steady power supply has been a major problem in this country. The fact is that small businesses cannot grow without power supply. Steady power supply will equally boost the economy of the country. Over the years, Nigeria has been grappling with epileptic power and I don’t know the type of powerful monster that has vowed that Nigeria won’t have steady power supply. Certainly, if the challenge of power is addressed, small businesses will wake up and artisans can do their works unhindered and more of our youths will be fully engaged, as they will spend less time in the social media, watching illicit media, which is one of the reasons rape cases are high in the society today. Generally, Nigeria is suffering from lack of infrastructure. Most roads are in poor state across the nation and this is affecting the economy of this country. Our education sector keep producing graduates trained to hunt only for nonexistent white-collar jobs. The educational system should be redesigned to emphasise more on entrepreneurships and job creation via technology.
How would you react to the closure of the nation’s borders?
The border closure is not the best decision for now, although sometimes, government may see what we don’t see but as you can see, from the day one the borders were closed, the prices of commodities and food items went up. This is an indication that we are yet to have enough food for the citizens since the imports are currently meant to supplement what Nigeria produces locally. As expected, the masses are those suffering the effect and if the poor cannot feed properly then there is a huge problem to contend with.
But the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development said recently that there is no hunger in Nigeria, that the country is producing enough food for its citizens and some neigbouring countries.
I think the minister is being economical with the truth because as pastors, we interact with the people every day and the majority of them are hungry. Just because the borders were closed recently, the prices of goods have skyrocketed. If we have enough food, the prices would have been stable after the border closure. We can still do better by empowering young people to go into agriculture in order to produce more food for the nation. The minister should think on how to empower and encourage Nigerians across the states to embrace food production. When the youths are properly engaged in agriculture and other ventures, there will be enough food and crime rate will reduce. The government should also ensure the safety and security of the farmers. You cannot say people should embrace agriculture whereas Fulani herdsmen are not only busy destroying the crops but also killing the farmers. Their activities scare people away from the farms so government should take drastic action against that.
Do you support the calls for the downward review of salaries and allowances of the legislators and other political office holders?
The salaries and allowances of all political office holders should be slashed. There is the need to make all public offices less attractive because even if their salaries are raised to N100 million, some of them will still embezzle money while in office because a greedy person can never be satisfied.
If the political offices are less attractive, nobody will harm the other person in order to get into any office but since the salaries and other allowances are juicy, people tend to do anything to get there. Nigeria needs a part-time legislature to curtail cost of governance.
It calls for sacrifice; Nigerians should be ready to make the needed sacrifice for the good of the country. The leaders and the led should be willing to make sacrifices when necessary for the growth of this nation.
What is the motive behind your annual programme, ‘Laughter’, which has been on for several years?
The motive is to enhance church growth and harvest of souls into the kingdom of God. Its positive effect on the lives of the people is also one of the motives. Whenever we celebrate the ‘Laughter programme’, it ushers in the seasons of testimonies, miracles, healings, prosperity, open doors and favour in people’s lives. These signs and wonders occur whenever we gather together for this event because of the calibre of the men of God whom He has been using to minister to the needs of the people throughout the seven-day event.
The people’s testimonies and joy as well as the souls that are called into the kingdom of God are also some of the motivating factors in organising this annual event. This is the programme that God has commissioned me to do and He has been manifesting His presence and power through this programme. He has been transforming the lives of the people through the ‘Laughter’. As a matter of fact, I don’t think that I can stop this programme as long as I’m alive.