By Bosun Obafemi & Segun Obisanya
The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Region 19, ACME Ogba, recently organized a 2023 Economic Conference with the theme, “Disrupted, Resilience, Rebuilding, Recovering,” under the auspices of the Redeemer’s Men Fellowship.
In his welcome address, Pastor-in-charge of the Region and the first citizen of the First Born Family, Pastor Brown Oyitso, congratulated the Redeemer’s Men Fellowship for holding the second edition of the Economic Summit. He charged them to be resilient in the face of consequences of global pandemic, climate change, social and political upheaval.
Oyitso, who is also the Intercontinental Coordinator for Missions in RCCG, enjoined the participants to be resilient, creative and determined to rebuild and recover from environmental challenges and take the available opportunity to build a better future for themselves and for generations to come. He urged them to fix themselves into action in the new Nigerian political dispensation.
The Regional Redeemer’s Men Fellowship Coordinator, Pastor Amos Emovon, in his opening remark, said the conference is an opportunity for the men in the Region to come together to learn from experiences and insights, and to explore new strategies and solutions for rebuilding and recovering from various global disruptions.
Emovon, who is also Pastor-in-Charge of Lagos Province 44, said participants were to benefit from knowledge sharing, networking, inspiration, skill-building, and exposure to new ideas and technologies.
National Coordinator of the Redeemer’s Men Fellowship, Pastor Remi Oluboba, in his address, acknowledged the commitment of the Pastor-in-charge of the Region and his aides towards holding the conference. He urged participants to take the empowerment from the conference to all levels of the church.
There were four invited speakers at the conference who did justice to all matters surrounding the theme of the conference.
Dr. Doyin Salami, an associate professor at Lagos Business School and Academic Director, Global CEO Program, who spoke on ‘Opportunity in Nigeria Post Transition’, identified areas of opportunity in the new dispensation to include: exploration of technology, human capital development, energy transmission.
Salami, who had earlier been appointed by the past government as the chairman of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council, said Nigeria’s economy is essentially virgin territory. He said what drives this economy include policies, trades (diaspora transfer).
“What we do on the policy side and some of the characteristics of the economy are what then drives the domestic impulse,” he submitted.
Leadership, it was also pointed out, harnesses natural endowments (skills) of his subjects (the citizens) to the transformation of society or nation. A leader is an inspirer, motivator, exemplary in human capital development. A leader creates an enabling environment for citizens to thrive in their productive ventures in a manner that is mutually beneficial for development.
Speaking on the topic, ‘Opportunities in my Lagos’, Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Lagos State, Mr Sam Egube, stated that life generally avails all opportunities to work with and that there is always a period between sowing and reaping. He said leadership requires the need to share vision, inspire and empower people to manage changes.
“It is my intention to share a few thoughts and ideas around the concept of Leadership. As men, we are leaders. It is the leadership set and principles you support that determines the opportunities you see and are able to work with and walk in.
“We should talk about the fact that leadership is indeed focused on people, not events (not an election, an appointment). It is about how people are educated, their orientation and reorientation and their level of inspiration and empowerment (courage, audacity, belief, faith, love and instinct).
“To lead, we must therefore demonstrate and have complete confidence in the ability of people to be innovative, trustworthy and indeed able, if cultivated.”
According to his submission, people are endowed with several abilities to achieve great things that are “beyond measure”. Therefore, they must not be left “uncultivated” because of undesirable outcomes.
“People left uncultivated will yield undesirable outcomes. If you do not cultivate for something desirable, you will get an undesirable outcome (even if all you did was nothing).
“Hopefully, I should demonstrate that when nations develop, they do so because of citizen actions in the direction of their embraced vision.
“To cultivate means to prepare and work on something to achieve a predetermined outcome. That is what vision inspires. The Bible says, write the vision, so that those who read it will run. Ultimate leadership requires people to be inspired to run in the direction of a vision,” Egube added.
But he was quick to add that acts of leadership and stature is not static but constantly in a state of development, through tests, experience, revelation, suffering and victories.
“When you leave a field uncultivated, it will yield weeds, not because you planted weeds but because you did not plant or cultivate a desired crop.
“If you do not cultivate the citizen’s partnership for national development, the citizen will yield for us an undesired outcome. You don’t lead people to the past but to the future, you must be able to prepare your people for thriving in the future,” he noted.
“Leadership seeks to inspire people’s thoughts and actions. It is what they hear or believe that inspires them to say emi lokan; i.e. It’s my turn. I will not be excluded or disqualified from my desire neither will I embrace logical truisms or illogical hypothesis that prevent me from reaching out towards the goal, “he added.
In his presentation, Professor Funso Sonaiya talked on ‘Investment And Growth Opportunities In The Agricultural Value Chain’. He spoke on the impact of covid disruption on business operations and the trends of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the post-covid era. The professor of Agriculture added that the post-covid reality has prompted investment efficiency in the areas of agribusinesses, logistics, trade, retail and e-commerce.
He highlighted opportunities in the Agric value chain on short-, medium- and long-term investments.
Delivering her speech at the conference titled, ‘Disrupted, resilience, rebuilding & recovering: Funding your dreams’, Pastor (Mrs) Toyin Sanni, an Executive Vice Chairman at Emerging Africa Capital, mentioned that funding and bringing one’s dreams into reality require adhering to both scriptural and business principles.
While she highlighted the project type and suitable financial options for various business opportunities, such start-ups: Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSMEs); and corporate; she identified right mindset, clear cut vision/plan, knowledge acquisition, network/partners and seeking funding as part of the principles a person must follow.
Sanni, who is also a Pastor-in-Charge of a Zone under Region 19, said, “When all these principles mentioned above have been duly executed, you can begin to seek funding for your dreams. You need the right financial partners to birth, sustain and grow your dream at different stages. The Emerging Africa Group (EAG) prides itself on providing end-to-end services from very early stages of business to maturity. We are committed to advancing the growth of African businesses and communities.
“Many dream, but do not have the mental capacity to see through their dreams coming to reality. God gave Solomon a large heart to carry the kind of wisdom that he asked from God. So, this means, a poor mindset will limit and kill the manifestation of your dreams.
“The question to ask is, “Do you believe in the success of your dream of starting that business? Do you believe it’s possible to build that production plant you dream of? Your answer to these questions determine the manifestation of your dreams.