By Sam Eyoboka
PRESIDING Bishop of Rhema Christian Church and Towers, RCC&T, Bishop Taiwo Akinola has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency on the nation’s deplorable infrastructure to reassure the world on Nigeria’s aspiration to become one of the world’s 20 largest economies by 2020.
Urging the President and all elected governors to use federal roads, the Bishop said the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) should also “accentuate actions aimed at continuously maintaining all the Federal roads across the country to make them more motor-able so as to reduce the man-hours being wasted on the highways, and the perennial and avoidable loss of lives and properties.”
Addressing newsmen in his headquarter church in Sango Otta, Ogun State ahead of the church’s annual convention scheduled to begin today till next Sunday, Bishop Akinola also urged Nigerian leaders to start putting the people they govern ahead of themselves.
“Each day of the convention, there will be morning, afternoon and evening sessions. On November 8, there will be our popular Hosanna Night, a time of victorious and miracle invoking praise, where anointed gospel artistes have been lined up for divine ministrations. The grand-finale on Sunday at 8.00 a.m., promises to relaunch and to commission God’s people into a supernatural and overflowing blessings for them to begin to operate victoriously.
Just like last year, the unique feature of this year’s convention is the assembly of stars and anointed gospel artistes that would minister daily throughout the convention. Gospel artistes lined up include, Mike Abdul, Wunmi Sax, Olufunke Akins, Folasade Taiwo, Bois Olorun, Praise Machine and others, just he assured that there will be free medical tests and services will be offered for all participants during the event.
Continuing, he said Rev. Dr. Kunle Adesina, Bishop Ayo Olubusuyi, Bishop Victor Akilla, Bishop Dr. Abiodun Akinteye, Bishop Israel Alaya, Pastor Femi Gbenjo, Pastor Sina Olufade, Pastor Tofunmi Opaleye, to mention a few will join him to minister, adding “a financial empowerment session will be hosted for some small scale business entrepreneurs before the close of the convention, by the grace of God.”
On the state of the nation, Bishop Akinola commended efforts taken so to turn around the fortunes of the country but pleaded with “our dear President Muhammadu Buhari to please declare an emergency on the state of some of our nation’s infrastructure, particularly to increase the Nigeria’s daily electricity power generation, which is presently put at a miserable 4,000 MW.
“We equally advise Federal Government to further review the privatization process of the electricity sector with a view to solving the problem,” he maintained, stressing that the nation’s economy is still distorted and sluggish, recording 1.9 per cent growth last quarter, lower than the initial World Bank projection of 2.2 per cent.
“In short, the economy is bleeding, with the attendant effects of gross falling living standard at homes, almost across the board. Unfortunately, as if to add salt to injuries, the government is piling up taxes and charges on the people without considering the negative impacts such trends are having on the people governed,” he noted.
Continuing, the Cleric opined that insecurity has certainly laid the country low on her back, stressing that major highways are now being avoided by travelers for fear of being kidnapped as kidnapping is fast becoming the country’s most lucrative business.
“Nigerians everyday in the present time are being inundated with reports of killings, robbery, banditry, kidnapping, with resultant disasters and economic depression. A government panel found that bandits collected over N3 billion in ransom from 2011 to May 2019, widowed 4,983 women, orphaned 25,050 children and displaced 190,340 persons in Zamfara State alone.
“In the first four months of 2019, said the police, 1,071 persons were killed. Kidnapping, banditry and communal strife have emptied farms and destroyed the livelihoods of many citizens in many parts of the country. The Global Terrorism Index estimates that Fulani militants killed about 1,700 persons from January to September 2018, six times more than the number killed by the blood thirsty Boko Haram Islamist sect throughout that year,” he stated.
On the danger of growing unemployment which is put at 55.4 per cent, Akinola said: “we are concerned that the rising spate of unemployment in Nigeria has remained unabated over the years. We observed that this critical situation has needlessly resulted in some youths taking to crimes such as kidnapping, armed robbery, internet fraud as well as being ready tools in the hands of insurgents, politicians and sponsors of communal crisis.
“We are, therefore, urging this administration to please arise to the necessary duty of fulfilling its promise of generating jobs as one of its cardinal projects to empower the youths and make them productive for the advancement of the country,” Bishop Akinola pleaded.