It’s Dishonest to Say Everything is Fine With Nigeria- Adefarasin

Pastor Wale Adefarasin of Guiding Light Assembly, Ikoyi, Lagos, has said that it would be dishonest to claim that all is well with Nigeria presently.

Adefarasin, a guest at a roundtable facilitated by the Network of African Christian Journalists (NACJOURN), recently said that Nigeria has been through numerous challenges, including monumental corruption, incompetence in government, and other factors hindering the nation’s development.

“Let’s talk about the state of the nation. It would be dishonest to say that everything is fine in Nigeria. We are facing severe challenges, including monumental corruption and incompetence in governance. Many things are not going well,” he said.

He further explained, “Over the years, since independence, we have seen continuous deterioration in various aspects. Fixing these issues will not happen overnight; it will take time, effort, and sacrifices. We need to brace ourselves for some hardships to achieve meaningful progress.”

Adefarasin noted that the recent election was a tough fight for any winning candidate and that implementing necessary policies is challenging.

Regarding the petrol subsidy removal, Adefarasin supported the idea but wished more thought had gone into the planning before the actual removal.

“For instance, Nigerian fuel was cheaper in neighboring countries like Benin Republic and Cameroon due to subsidies, making it easier to obtain there than in Nigeria. While removing the fuel subsidy was necessary, its implementation could have been better planned,” he said.

On the exchange rate, Adefarasin said, “Multiple foreign exchange rates led to escalated exchange rates as people bought US dollars at official rates and sold them at the black market, causing economic instability.”

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He also addressed the minimum wage issue, which recently led to a strike by organized labor unions.

“The issue of the minimum wage is also pressing. The labor movement’s demand for N400,000 or so is unrealistic given the current economic capacity. While workers deserve a living wage, the ability to pay such high wages is limited,” he said.

Adefarasin, whose church currently employs about 25 staffers, expressed concern that many employers, including churches, would struggle to meet these demands, potentially leading to layoffs.

“Labor must understand that imposing such high wages without considering economic realities can create more problems,” he said.

Turning to the church, Adefarasin said, “It is often said that as the church goes, so goes the nation.” He emphasized that the Bible calls for people to turn from wicked ways and pray for healing, implying that the church must address its own issues.

“I recently saw a video of a pastor claiming to have taken a selfie with God in heaven and selling it in South Africa for 5,000 Rand. Such gimmicks, which exploit people’s faith for money, are alarming. As the former national secretary of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), I believe that the government has a responsibility to protect citizens from exploitation, including by religious leaders,” he said.

Looking ahead, he said, “Transparency and accountability in the church are crucial. Financial audits and adherence to corporate governance standards should be enforced to prevent deception. We must strive to ensure that religious institutions comply with legal and ethical expectations to safeguard their integrity and the trust of their congregations.”

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