Were I in President Buhari’s shoes I would agree to the demands of the general overseers and open their churches in exchange for a religious finance deal

Ayo Akinfe

(1) Our general overseers have all made it crystal clear that they are feeling the pinch of this lockdown and want their churches opened. Were I in President Buhari’s shoes, I would bow to their demands, striking a deal with them that in exchange for lifting the suspension on their operations, they must flood the Nigerian economy with religious finance

(2) First of all, they must combine all their commercial operations into one conglomerate called Man of God PLC and agree to invest at least $5bn a year in the Nigerian economy

(3) Thry must also agree to pay a corporation tax of 40% on all their earnings like any other business

(4) They must sell off their fleets of private jets and use the proceeds to buy passenger planes. Man of God PLC will use such aircraft to run a commercial airline. If it grows significantly it may even become our national carrier

(5) Given that power is our main headache in Nigeria today, Man of God PLC must pledge to invest in power generation plants and electricity transmission and distribution companies

(6) Given the deep pockets of these pastorprueners, they must agree to consider investing in all those areas of our economy desperately needing private capital. These include railway lines, sea ports, our comatose steel mills, food processing, etc

(7) Man of God PLC must also commit to investing significantly in tourism. I find it totally unacceptable that despite Nigeria’s large religious following, the tombs of Samuel Ajayi Crowther and Usman Dan Fodio are not major tourist attractions. We have to bring the two of them up to the level of the Taj Mahal at the very least

(8) As a payback for their investment, these pastorprueners will get tax rebates for any charitable work they do in the community like building clinics

(9) If they chose to invest in healthcare by building hospitals and providing drugs and treatment, delivery must be free. The government will pay them annually for this from our health budget

(10) Likewise, the government will reimburse these pastorprueners for any scholarships they offer to poor students who attend their universities. As part of this deal, any bright youngster who gains admission must be admitted and under no circumstances must anyone be denied an education for being poor