*Encomiums on a book: ‘‘Breaking the shackles of poverty: Foundation and building blocks for lasting wealth’
Emmanuel Kehinde, Ilorin
Chief Executive, EPCM Engineers Limited, Mr. Okee Onwuka; Chief Examiner, The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Mr. Ubani Uchechukwu Ubani; and the District Superintendent, Badagry (Grace) District, Assemblies of God, Rev. Dr. John Ikpe, have said that Nigerians have no business with poverty.
They stated that God blessed Nigeria with incredible human, mineral, and material resources such that if properly harnessed and utilised, Nigerians will be very wealthy.
They said that Nigerians have great potential for wealth creation. They also described Nigerians as very hardworking, adventurous, and resilient people, adding that with the right environment and right leadership, the people will excel.
They spoke in Lagos on Saturday during the public presentation of a book: ‘Breaking the shackles of poverty: Foundation and building blocks for lasting wealth. The book was authored by Ubani.
The experts said Nigeria can exit from a borrowing nation to a country that will lend to others.
They stated that there is a need for attitudinal change among the Nigerian leaders and citizens, adding that there is a need to boost productivity.
They lamentable that Nigeria has been described as the ‘World poverty capital,’ adding that God blessed Nigeria with incredible human, material, and mineral resources such that the country has no business with poverty.
Onwuka, commended the book, saying it has basic principles that if applied, could banish poverty from any individual, organisation, group, or country.
He called on Nigerians to be production-oriented and avoid a borrowing mentality, especially for consumption.
Onwuka said, “Nigeria can exit from a borrowing nation to a lending nation. It is all in our mindsets. That can happen overnight if we have the right leadership and the right mentality. If you think, you can, you can. If you think you can’t, also you can’t. But I think that we can. We should grow our minds, if we think right, right-thinking happens.
“Even though borrowing is understood to be an enhancement tool, I think it is a weakness of the mind for an individual to think of borrowing first as an enhancement tool. If we look more inside ourselves, we will know that money is not only cash. There are various sums of money. If you look inward, we are better able to advance our courses to a point even where even if we have to borrow, it will be on friendlier terms.
“But the underdeveloped world today have remained slaves to the developed world because we quickly gravitate to accept borrowing from them and in this borrowing, we get subjugated more and more and our liberation gets limited. So people who think borrowing first may not optimise the opportunity. Just check nations that are into borrowing, they have not made a break-through.”
He added, “Concerning the borrowings by the federal government, there are two types of borrowing. You can borrow to consume or you can borrow to eat. You can also borrow to develop a capital project, knowing that what you borrowed will pay for itself. So when you borrow for recurrent expenditures, payment of salaries, and for things that do not grow the nation, then you are impoverishing, not just today, but the future generations.
“It is still Nigerians that get into power. The way you think is going to be the way you think whether you are in power or out of power. So if we can evolve a system of delayed gratification in the country,the better for us. We all want great things but there are sacrifices we can make in the short term that can put us on a great investment reward. China did not just become a power overnight. They explored the excessive powers of delayed gratification. Now they are reaping the benefits.
“Humungous borrowing has already mortgaged the future of Nigeria. But people are not interested in what happens in the future. Regardless of what the government is doing, there are still individuals, Africans, and Nigerians, who understand the fundamental laws of success. They apply them and they succeed in their individual lives. So, there is hope that someday, maybe some of these individuals who understand the laws of success may meet and be in leadership and our fortunes will change for the better.”
Rev Dr. John Ikpe also said Nigeria can become a lending nation. He said the huge foreign debts of the government have mortgaged the future of Nigeria.
He said God wants people and nations to be rich, adding that it is not his plan that people should be poor.
He commended the book by Mr. Ubani, adding that it has many nuggets for financial transformation.
Dr. Ikpe said, “Nigerians need to wake up with the current challenges we are going through, politically, academically, and other situations facing this nation. Our leaders need to sit up and tackle the challenges headlong because we are going through turbulence.
“I kick against borrowing by the Federal Government because it is quite unfair for a nation like Nigeria going to borrow when we have a lot of resources in this nation that we can utilize to make it great. So going outside to borrow is quite unfair.
The borrowings have already mortgaged the future of Nigerians because I do not know how long this nation will get off the hook of borrowing.
“Ubani has written a very challenging book that is highly needed and required in our time. The root of this book is from the Scriptures. That is why, in a time like this, we have to fall back to the scripture to get our bearing right. This is not an academic book in itself, it is a book that is meant to bring about empowerment for anyone that cares.
“Deut 8: 18 said, “But thou shall remember the Lord, thy God for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he has sworn unto their father as it is this day.”
Let me speak on Financial empowerment. It is the will of God for us to be empowered. His ultimate desire is for us to be financially empowered in such a way that we will not just be a consumer but you will be a financial distributors, a helper of other people, one who also empowers others. God wants you to be empowered so that you will in turn empower others,
“In our nation today, one of the greatest problems we have is not just money problem but the problem we have in the nation is the poverty of the mind. When the mind of people are deluded and poor of getting the necessary information that will give them a clear-cut direction, you see that that nation will be overwhelmed by all manner of poverty. Until we are financially informed, giving the necessary information that will bring about enlightenment, so that we can work out of the darkness of poverty, we will keep on moving round and round in a vicious circle.”
Ubani, who is currently the Managing Consultant, BVL Investment Trust Limited, as well as a former National Auditor, Committee of Chief Inspectors of Banks in Nigeria, said Nigeria can exit from a borrowing country to a lending nation.
He explained that he was inspired to write the book as his contribution to financial emancipation and empowerment of people, organizations, groups, and nations.
He stated that anybody can become wealthy if the person applies principles of wealth creation.
Ubani said, “Nigeria can exit from a borrowing nation to a lending nation. That can only happen when the mentality of our leaders changes. As soon as the mentality of our leadership is that of ‘gather and share,’ we will remain a borrowing and poor nation. But when the mentality of our leadership shifts to that of empowering people, state, and local governments to go into production, we will become rich. After all, we were not a borrowing nation before.
“All the major infrastructure that are the bedrocks of Nigeria were built by the regional government when we had a regional government. And those regional governments never borrowed a dime to build those infrastructures that are still here. They were established in the 1960s. They used the resources from their land. What they produced is what they used to build all those infrastructures. Why can’t we go to that productive era? The leadership should change their mentality of ‘other people will work, and other people will chop.’ Everybody should work. In fact, the Bible said, ‘He who will not work, let him not eat.’ So productivity is the name of the game.
“I am against the humungous borrowing by the government. For me, it does not make sense. Because if you are borrowing to create wealth, yes, that is understandable. In this book, I wrote that if you must borrow, it must be for productive purposes. Do not borrow for consumptive purposes. Borrowing for consumption will keep us in the land of poverty forever. So if we borrow and put it into productive ventures, things that will generate more income and repay those loans; to repay them will not be a problem. But to borrow and use it to pay salaries and something that does not add value, then it is not worth it.
“Any rational human being can change his status or circumstances if he is willing and obedient. The core message of the book is loaded with information, and guidelines that can help someone take a positive step toward building lasting wealth. Somebody gets into wealth by accident and they fall back into poverty by carelessness. I am not talking about accidental wealth. I am talking about wealth that is built deliberately or intentionally, step by step.
“If anybody has made up his or her mind to change his circumstance and become wealthy, it is a choice. To be wealthy is a choice, to be poor is also a choice. It is in the hand of each of us to make that choice or decision. To say: enough is enough, I must break that chain.
“In fact, poverty is the product of the devil. Satan has three strategies. He has come to kill, steal, and destroy. Part of that destruction of humankind is poverty because when we look at the way God created man, He created man and gave us abundance in the Garden of Eden. And He gave us authority to dominate, control, and rule. Part of that destruction of mankind is poverty because when we look at the way God created man, He created man and gave us abundance in the Garden of Eden. He gave us authority to rule, control and dominate. So I do not see any reason, especially, for some who have known God through Jesus Christ, to ever live a life of poverty.
“Nigerians can become wealth creators. That is what we are meant to be because right from the foundation of the world when God created the world, He handed over everything to Adam and said, ‘Go and name all the things I created.’ To identify, for instance, a crawling animal is a herculean task. It is not easy for one to distinguish one grass from the other. But Adam was able to distinguish them one after the other and gave them their names.”
A marketing communication consultant, Mr. Igwe U. Igwe, commended the book.
He said the book has great principles and insights that if applied, can lift a person, group, organisation or country from poverty to affluence.
Igwe, who reviewed the book, recommended it to people who either want to break from the shackles of poverty to become wealthy or wealthy people who want to sustain or even grow their wealth.