The Founder and Senior Pastor of the Embassy of God in Kiev Ukraine, Dr. Sunday Adelaja has advocated for population control in the country to be able to solve its economic challenges.
The popular preacher, who has authored over 400 books in an interview session with Maazi Ezeoke of Njenje Media lamented the nonchalance of the Nigerian government to the continuous growth of the Nigerian population, which he said is at variance with the economic growth of the world most populous black nation.
In his words:
“The biggest problem we have really while we are feeling so deprived and impoverished in Nigeria is because of the rate of growth of our population. The rate of growth of our population is growing too much faster than the rate of growth of our economy. So even if we are going to be growing at 3 percent, 4 percent, 5 percent but an average family that is having 5 children will not catch up, so I don’t know why Nigerian people, the government is not paying too much attention to that, we did not do the kind of policy that China did, we need to first of all slow down the growth of the population so that we will be able to have the growth of the economy and later on when the economy is growing much faster and the economy is stronger, then we would remove that limitation and then make everything go at a parallel base.”
According to him, the present standard of living of average Nigerians and the per capita income is a source of concern, adding that Nigeria is “horribly bad and that is why they say we are the poverty capital of the world”.
The cleric is of the opinion that despite the litany of challenges bedeviling the country, Nigeria is making progress at 61.
“But if we are going to take general development, you know I am not an old man, I am going to be 60 soon but even though there are people who are older than me but I didn’t see the 60’s, 40’s or 50’s, even in the late ’60s or the early ’70s that I was growing up in Nigeria, I could see that we have made a lot of progress. Can you imagine that at independence, Nigeria only had less than 20 medical doctors, and how many universities, one university, how many highways, very few highways, how many hospitals, how many roads, how many cities, we were really very backward. Frankly speaking at independence, you could say Africa, Nigeria, we were just bush, it was just bush but now we have really made a lot of progress but that progress is not being felt because we are too many.” He said.
Pastor Adelaja, who owns one of the largest churches in Europe is however optimistic that with the right approach, the country will return on its part of greatness. He also believes the country is not doing badly economically as widely believed, noting that Nigeria is the 25th biggest economy in the world.
“Because right now, recently I saw a publication on Facebook and I went to crosscheck it with World Bank statistics and CIA statistics. It says that Nigeria is number 25 in the biggest economists in the world and if you look at all the countries before Nigeria, all of them, the youngest of them is 100 years or 100 and 60 years old.”
“ Nigeria is the youngest big largest economy in the world, the gap between us and the next country that is above us in the size of the economy is like 100 years or 60 years. So as a country, when we talk about the economy in general, we are not doing badly, we are number 25 in the world, believe it but most Nigerians will never believe that. We have 200 countries in this world and Nigeria is number 25, not bad when it comes to the economy but when it comes to the standard of living of people, that is where we have failed horribly.”, he said.