Pastor Sunday Adelaja has been been answering questions from Church Times. Here is just one of the many questions he answered recently.
You were able to raise 200 millionaires in US dollars and you are looking forward to lifting people out of poverty in Nigeria. But you began a microfinance in Nigeria called GS (God and Son) which had collapsed. Don’t you think you are only having a fantasy about the Nigeria situation?
Well, first, I think I should be commended for even thinking about Nigeria. I think I should also be commended for wanting to come and alleviate poverty off my people instead of desiring to build a mansion for myself.
Did you know the money I used to start the microfinance bank in Nigeria was withdrawn from the mortgage of my house here? I risked and put online everything that I had here. This is about 200 million naira which I brought to Nigeria not to buy a house for myself. For a fact, I still do not have a house in Nigeria up until today. I haven’t repaired my grandmother’s house where I grew up, and I haven’t done anything in my village.
But, I went to put that money in Lagos, in the hands of Nigerians who are pastors and I told them that the only thing I want is for them to do this as a microfinance bank to help people. They came to Ukraine to do a presentation to convince me that they understood what I wanted.
So, I said go and use this money which is a product of all my years of savings in Europe. I gave this money down to be used not for my family, my children or my siblings in Nigeria, but to be used for all Nigerians including my relatives and everybody else. I told them to start this microfinance bank that would help Nigerians.
They gave me assurance that it would grow and expand and they even made a business plan and structure for me that in the next 10, 20 years we’d be able to deliver about 40 million Nigerians from poverty.
But, instead of that, the bank didn’t even last two years before they came back to me reporting that everything was lost. Apart from my own contribution, other people contributed funds summing up to over 700 million naira, which was lost without anything to show for it.
So when people now ask me, why don’t you want to do anything in Nigeria? I tell them, I don’t want to do anything in Nigeria until I arrive. I need to be in Nigeria and see things by myself.
I cannot trust people because the people I trusted are pastors belonging to some of the most reputable churches in the country. This is a proof that what they are taught in their churches and what they are teaching others is wrong. We don’t have Christianity anymore in Nigeria. We don’t have values in our people. These pastors are just taking advantage of people.
So, I don’t know what has happened to my money and the 700 million naira we put into the economy. Hence, I am not to blame for the collapse of the microfinance bank. It could be that my fault was trusting people and I wouldn’t risk it anymore.
Before I start to do anything in Nigeria, I would have to come first.