The Senior Pastor of Covenant Christian Centre, Pastor Poju Oyemade has said doing charity and giving hand-outs to people will not in any way end poverty.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday, May 26, Oyemade wrote, “The solution to poverty is never charitable donations. It has always been education, self-discipline, mentorship, the ability to recognize opportunities, etc. Hand-outs help people when they are in temporal need of an emergency safety net. Poverty however is a different ball game.”
But some respondents on this wall took him up on the submission. While many agree with him, a few believe his submission is not the whole truth.
Poverty: How the early church solved tackled it
One Timothy Bolofinde wrote, “Just Add Some Bible references, sir. For The First, Apostles See How The Nailed Poverty Act 4:33 — Act 4:35
“And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need?”
A need for both handout and social investment
Another, Omotayo Olugbenga wrote in response to the post, “Pastor Poju Oyemade, a good point of view but NOT a holistic approach. To EFFECTIVELY tackle Poverty, you need a MIX of BOTH Aid (handouts, grants) and Social investment (Quality Healthcare system, Competitive Education).
“Why? With AID (or SOCIAL INTERVENTION programs) you achieve QUICK WINS of PULLING the VULNERABLE and BOTTOM of the SOCIAL & ECONOMIC PYRAMID out of POVERTY and SOCIAL INVESTMENT such as in Quality Healthcare, Competitive Education System KEEP THEM from SLIPPING back into POVERTY hereby SUSTAINING and GROWING the incremental gains you achieve from aids, grants, hands out, etc. Just my Tencent’s Point of View..”
Another respondent, Baef Barbara Abike Epperson wrote, “Correct. But some families lived on donations from charity to get an education and to feed and thereafter they broke out of poverty and in return they gave back to the society.”
Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has a role to play
Rowland Johnson in his views says however that Pastor Oyemade should use “The Platform” which is the annual programme of Covenant Christian Centre to educate the Vice President of Nigeria Prof Yemi Osibanjo, that “trader moni ain’t the way to go. So much is expected from his office as a major stakeholder in the economic re-engineering of the nation but he seems to be doing less.
“His office has continued to be a mechanism through which wastages have been achieved in the past years. Billions have been given out under many guises without any commensurate and measurable returns.
“In dissecting your recommendations sir, If education will bring the nation out of poverty, what kind of education should we be looking for? Considering that education on all levels in Nigeria can hardly produce right-thinking nation builders.
“You spoke about Self-discipline, on whose part? Mentorship under what structure and lastly, opportunity, who should create these opportunities? Beautiful papers have been presented in time past without attaching constructive action plans and it all seems like it fell on deaf ears.
“The talk must stop and action initiated. Nigerians are not lazy folks, cast the vision, create the foundation and then go to sleep; the building will be built. We are resilient but the people who occupy privileged positions and offices in the country even in churches have failed largely in inspiring the actions needed to drive the growth we so need in the country. So the buck stops at your table. Action is all that is needed, sir. God bless you always.”