BEING TEXT OF SPEECH BY PASTOR TUNDE BAKARE AT THE STATE OF THE NATION BROADCAST ON SUNDAY, MAY 22, 2016.

VENUE: THE LATTER RAIN ASSEMBLYENDTIME CHURCH4, AKILO ROAD, OFF OBA AKRAN AVENUEOGBA, IKEJA, LAGOS.

THEME: THE COURAGE TO DO THE RIGHT THING

PROTOCOLS.

Saints at The Latter Rain Assembly, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, especially first timers in our ministry, Gentlemen of the Press, please permit me to set the stage for today’s lecture by reading two texts of Scripture while interlacing them with prayers.

TEXT I: PSALM 46:111 (NKJV):

            1 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. 5 God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn. 6 The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted. 7 The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah Come, behold the works of the Lord, Who has made desolations in the earth. 9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire. 10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! 11 The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

PRAYER FOCUS:

Background check:

  1. A Psalm of the sons of Korah: Numbers 16:2335

In the midst of this horrific occurrence, see verses 27 and 32. What really happened then? See Numbers 26:911.

PRAYER:

My life will not be a sign for rebellion against constituted authority, in Jesus’ mighty name. I will not die another man’s death. I will not perish with the rebellious.

  1. Psalm 46:7 & 11 – This can only work for us if it truly worked for Jacob. Let us refer to 3 instances:

i.            The Laban incident: Genesis 31:2224 & 29

ii.            Face to face with Esau:

Genesis 27:4145

Genesis 32:112

Genesis 33:14

Why? Romans 16:7.

iii.     The Dinah incident:

          Genesis 34:14; 1324; 25-30

          Genesis 35:1 & 5

Brothers and sisters, say with me: The Lord of Hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is our refuge. And as He did for Jacob, so will He do for us, in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.

TEXT II: PSALM 125:15 (NKJV):

            1Those who trust in the Lord Are like Mount Zion, Which cannot   be moved, but abides forever. 2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem, So the Lord surrounds His people From this time forth and forever. For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest On the  land allotted to the righteous, Lest the righteous reach out their hands to iniquity. 4 Do good, O Lord, to those who are good, And to those who are upright in their hearts. 5 As for such as turn aside to their crooked ways, The Lord shall lead them away With the workers of iniquity. Peace be upon Israel!

Brand experts say that there are three qualities of a unique brand:

i)             Authenticity

ii)            Staying power

iii)           Consistency  (See Psalm 125:1)

PRAYER FOCUS: Peace be upon Israel.

Background check:

i)       Exodus 4:2123

ii)      Exodus 5:1

iii)     II Chronicles 7:1216. Emphasis: “If my people who are called by my name…” Who are His people? Israel.

iv)    Acts 15:128: Declaration: Peace be upon Nigeria.

Fellow citizens of our great country, today’s lecture is titled: “The Courage to Do the Right Thing”. This title was inspired by the words of three great men who impacted their world:

1.      Marcus Aurelius, the Roman emperor, who spelt out five virtues of great leadership, namely: Wisdom, Justice, Courage, Temperance and Fortitude;

2.      Sir Winston Churchill, who declared during a time of great insecurity and economic chaos facing his country: “This is no time for ease and comfort. It is the time to dare and endure.”;

3.      Douglas MacArthur who declared, “Last but no means least, courage – moral courage, the courage of one’s convictions, the courage to see things through. The world is in a constant conspiracy against the brave. It is the age-old struggle – the roar of the crowd on one side and the voice of your conscience on the other”.

Ladies and gentlemen, as in times past, today’s lecture is “the voice of my conscience”. Now, to the lecture: “The Courage to Do the Right Thing”.

I was away in the United Kingdom, upon the invitation of President Muhammadu Buhari, to be part of the delegation to the much publicised Anti-Corruption Summit, when the announcement was made back here in Nigeria that the price of premium motor spirit (PMS) would significantly increase to N145 per litre from the previous price of N86.50k per litre.

In the midst of that highly engaging summit, at which far-reaching measures were sought to combat a global problem Nigeria has both contributed to and been at the receiving end of, I was still rebounding from the fantastically outrageous description of my country as one of the two most corrupt countries in the world[1] when the news of the fuel price hike reached me.

Aware of the excruciating suffering that the Nigerian people have endured in the past months, with long fuel queues stretching kilometres during those interludes of availability in the midst of scarcity, I received the news with much concern. Also aware of the enormous challenges plaguing the sector and the efforts of the federal government to sanitise and stabilise the industry in the past year, I felt even more concerned. I could not but observe that it has been months of a tottering petroleum sector administration characterised by seeming policy somersaults occasioned by years of severe maladministration.

My concern was further heightened by feedback from various stakeholders; feedback that beams the searchlight on the Save Nigeria Group (SNG), which I convened, as the current situation is considered comparable to the 2012 fuel subsidy crisis[2]. As you may recall, that crisis led to perhaps the largest protest rally in the history of this nation as stakeholders converged at Freedom Park, Ojota, under the aegis of Save Nigeria Group, in a people’s movement that shook the nation for five days. In the past few days, through various channels – from those who have direct access to me, to queries through conventional and new media platforms – the question has been asked: “Why is the Save Nigeria Group silent now?”

It is all the more necessary to respond to such questions because they originate not just from those who misunderstood and criticised us at that time with a flurry of unfounded allegations, but also from some of those who stood with us at Freedom Park as we challenged the then government with our demands for good governance and transparency with respect to the management of the petroleum sector.

Some of those patriots who stood with us then have begun to wonder if our stance at the time was justified and if it wasn’t yet another exercise in futility. Others have alluded to a principally political motivation, suggesting that our apparent resistance to the fuel subsidy removal in 2012 was principally fuelled by a regime change agenda, which, according to holders of such sentiments, may have been achieved with the emergence of the current administration. These allusions and despondent reactions demand a response. Therefore, in the course of the week, I consulted with some stakeholders of the Save Nigeria Group to ensure that we provide an informed and appropriate response to the situation. That response is the purpose for this address.

I must state, first of all, that I acknowledge the criticisms of fellow Nigerians and I respect the right of every Nigerian to have opinions. I must also use this opportunity to salute, once again, every Nigerian, irrespective of political class, who stood up to be counted those five days four years ago at the risk of their lives. Amidst threats from the beneficiaries of the corrupt order, I had the honour of providing leadership to that movement from the battlefront with my family – my wife and children – right by my side. For those who know me well enough, they know that I love my family dearly and would never have risked their safety, or the safety of fellow Nigerians for that matter, if there was not a cause – if the future of their nation was not at stake; if the fate of their generation was not on the line; if the destiny of generations yet unborn was not hanging in the balance.

We may have forgotten how close to the brink we tottered in that era; we may now be re-writing history to reduce the activities of those five days to personal agendas, but, for whatever it is worth, I would never have allowed Nigerians to risk their lives if what was at stake was politics. It was why, when we received intelligence reports of plots to infiltrate and disrupt the unusual peacefulness of that protest movement in order to fabricate an alibi for the use of force and possible declaration of a state of emergency in Lagos State, we called off the rally. We considered the life of the Nigerian, for whose welfare we were fighting, far more important than the issues at stake and resolved to find other means to address those issues.

To underscore the futility of the notion of political motivation for the 2012 protest, let me refer you to my response on the fourth day of that protest when similar allegations were made at the time. I said:

Neither the Labour Union (NLC) nor TUC is behind the Ojota Rally. Not to talk of any politician or political party. The same patriotic spirit that led SNG to march the streets of Abuja and Lagos when Jonathan was being prevented from performing the constitutional duty of an Acting President has motivated the SNG and its allies to put this peaceful rally together. We did not collect money from Jonathan then and we are not being sponsored by any politician now.

Today, the world is the victim of PROPAGANDA because of people who are not intellectually competent. More than anything, Nigeria needs effective citizens competent to do their own thinking.[3]

I do not have sufficient time to begin to enumerate how I subsequently worked pro bono with the former president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, at close quarters in the quest for a Nigeria that works – from my personal meetings with him with regard to the 2014 National Conference, to my deliberations with him and our current president, Muhammadu Buhari, in the political transition period before and after the 2015 elections in a bid to safeguard our nation from disintegration. I would much rather transcend the emotive and uninformed reactions to the issues at stake with a view to finding lasting solutions to the problems in the downstream sector. However, prior to that, it is necessary to clarify our position then and now in order to determine if it has changed with the change in administration.

You may recall that after the then government gave the Nigerian people a New Year’s gift packaged in the sudden announcement of fuel price hike on January 1, 2012, civil society and the labour unions, namely the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), opposed the decision. The unexpected announcement came across as a betrayal of the trust of the Nigerian people especially against the backdrop of the fact that, in the town hall meetings it had with stakeholders in 2011, the government had promised gradual changes in the administration of the petroleum subsidy.

Even before these stakeholders had begun to organise to shut down the Nigerian economy through strikes, we at the Save Nigeria Group had emphasised that the main problem was laziness and an entrenched corrupt order by which the government, in connivance with crony capitalists, fleeced Nigerians. I recall stating on this platform, in a message titled “The Simple Arithmetic of Fuel Subsidy”, that:

…the federal government is not subsidising the cost of production of refined oil in our nation. What the government is subsidising is the alternative cost of importation. This shows clearly that our leaders have allowed their laziness to envelope the entire nation so that we have corporately become a lazy nation according to the biblical definition[4] [of the lazy man in Proverbs 12:27 (NKJV) – “The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting, but diligence is man’s precious possession.”]

On this premise, mindful of the sufferings of the Nigerian people, even though critical of the subsidy regime, I added that:

…by removing the subsidy – if we ever allow this to take place – Nigerians will be made to pay for the ineptitude of their leaders and the kleptomania of government functionaries. Like other nations, some less endowed, we have the opportunity to set up our own refineries, refine our products, sell and export refined products, and make money. Instead of doing that, both NNPC and the government “explore sleaze, refine roguery and market sharp practices.” They cannot complain that they import at a high price. It is their idiotic choice and Nigerians should not be made scapegoats for their poor choices.[5]

On the heels of this position, when the government suddenly removed the fuel subsidy without admitting to its complicit and compromised involvement in the maladministration of petroleum resources in Nigeria, the SNG rose to the occasion in defence of truth and justice. Maximising the moment created by the strike called by the labour unions, we mobilised the Nigerian people to stand up against oppression. However, we made it clear to our allies that the Save Nigeria Group was raising the bar beyond mere removal of fuel subsidy to the fight against corruption in the system. So, while the rallying cry of our allies was “N65 or nothing”, we wore branded t-shirts with the inscription “Kill Corruption, Not Nigerians”.

Even though we identified with the sufferings of the Nigerian people that would be occasioned and intensified by subsidy removal, our position was that subsidisation was not sustainable in the long run and would have been utterly unnecessary if the rot in the sector was confronted. We therefore insisted that if the government dealt with corruption and sanitised the system, there would be no need for a subsidy. This position was articulated in a January 15, 2012 address at The Latter Rain Assembly, titled “Subsidy Made Simple”, where I observed that there was an unexplainable difference when one considered such indicators as the daily consumption of petrol by Nigerians, the annual cost of importation, the cost borne by the consumers, and the cost of subsidy borne by the government. I observed then that:

The simplest part of the fuel subsidy arithmetic will reveal one startling fact: That the government does not need to subsidise our petrol at all if we reject corruption and sleaze as a way of life…[6]

Upon taking a close look at the NNPC’s management of its allocations, I concluded in that January 2012 address that:

The government does not need to subsidise our petrol imports – at least not from the Federation Account. The same crude that should have been refined by NNPC is simply sold on the international market (since our refineries barely work) and the money is used to buy petrol. The 400,000 barrels per day given to NNPC for local consumption can either be refined by NNPC or sold to pay for imports. This absurdity called subsidy should be funded with this money, not the regular FGN budget.[7]

Our position, therefore, was that even with partial functioning of the refineries, the government would not need to subsidise petrol if corruption was removed from the equation. Let us now examine the corruption-driven subsidy regime we fought against in 2012. Available statistics[8] show that the annual subsidy payment was N151.9 billion in 2006, N188 billion in 2007, N256.3 billion from January to July 2008, N421.5 billion in 2009 and N673 billion in 2010. The subsidy payment in 2011 suddenly spiked to an earlier reported value of N1.3 trillion, which was later revised upward by the Ministry of Finance to N2.19 trillion, amounting to a 225.4% increase in one year which also happened to be an election year. When the government realised that it was no longer able to sustain this colossal looting of our treasury and that it had to replace the monies that had been expended or misappropriated outside of budgetary allocation, it quickly and suddenly removed subsidies on petrol. The clear message was that the government wanted the so-called average Nigerian to pay back what corrupt politicians and their private collaborators had stolen. This was not acceptable to us.

Thus, while at Freedom Park, we called for the investigation of those suspected to have benefited from the spurious subsidy claims[9]. It was why we applauded the subsequent move by the then House of Representatives to investigate the subsidy regime, and it was why we called for the prosecution of persons indicted in the unlimited kleptocratic consumption of our common patrimony all the while hiding under the crooked finger of fuel subsidy[10]. How else can one explain, for instance, the payment of N999 million 128 times within 24 hours to some companies totaling N127.872 billion by the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation in the name of subsidy[11]?

Instead of the demanded prosecution of indicted persons, what we witnessed was a so-called sting operation that discredited the chairman of the committee without disproving the allegations[12]. The report of the Nuhu Ribadu-led committee that was subsequently set up by the then Minister for Petroleum was ignored[13] when the Minister herself and the NNPC were again indicted. The Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede-led committee, even though comparatively mild in its report, also indicted a number of companies,[14] all of which were neither prosecuted nor made to return stolen funds. That was the situation we protested against in 2012.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE 2012 & 2016 PUMP PRICE HIKE.

It was Mahatma Gandhi who said: “Honest differences are often a healthy sign of progress.” To begin with, unlike the 2012 situation when the price of crude oil was over $100, the global economic condition is highly unfavourable with the fall in crude oil prices from about $65 when the current government came into power to about $48 presently.[15] The depletion of external reserves through years of mismanagement and corruption, coupled with the fall in crude prices, has severely weakened the naira in relation to the dollar.[16] The naira was 218 to a dollar[17] at the parallel market as at the time the new government came into power; it is now about 340 to a dollar[18]. In comparison, it was about N164 to a dollar in 2012[19] when we protested. In the midst of such a chaotic economic environment, the new government met an alarming subsidy debt. We can recall that, by December last year, at the height of excruciating suffering experienced by Nigerians due to fuel scarcity, approval was given for the payment of N407.07 billion[20] of the outstanding N642.922 billion[21], which implied that N235.852 billion remained outstanding – a sum that would likely increase due to exchange rate differentials and interest charges. By April 2016, there was reportedly a near dry up of foreign exchange due to subsidy repayment among other demands[22]. Against the fact that our forex receivables have significantly diminished given the fall in global oil prices, it is obvious to the right thinking Nigerian that this system of subsidised consumption that gulps up to 18% of all government revenue[23], even in an administration that is making great efforts to combat systemic corruption, is unsustainable. It is through this lens that fuel subsidy removal must be examined.

Nigeria is not alone in this abysmal economic situation occasioned by the falling price of oil. Other oil producing countries, including members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-members of OPEC, are faced with the same situation and are taking drastic steps to manage the situation. Earlier in the year, the Russian government ordered a 10% spending cut[24]. In December last year, Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s leading oil producer, raised the price of petrol by 40% with plans to decrease other subsidies, “reduce the growth of public sector salaries and limit the country’s dependence on oil”[25]. Azerbaijan is expected to roll out a major privatisation programme[26], while Venezuela, the most socialist of oil producing countries and the country with the lowest fuel price in the world, had to soften its command and control stance by increasing the pump price for 95 octane gasoline 6,086% and devaluing its currency[27].

The Nigerian situation is worsened by the fact that these alarming sums are spent on subsidising importation due to our refineries functioning sub-optimally, if at all. As we asked at the beginning of the year, in our State of the Nation broadcast titled “Roadmap to Successful Change”:

 Is it not laziness of the highest order that one of the largest producers of crude oil in the world exports crude and imports refined products at cut-throat costs? It is incomprehensible laziness that an oil producing country would decline to zero refining capacity! There is no gainsaying the fact that we have become the laughing stock of other oil producing countries in the world…[28]

Therefore, those who accuse us of keeping silent ignore these salient facts:

  1. That the current situation differs significantly from the corruption-ridden 2012 subsidy crisis which we rose against in 2012;
  2. That, in 2012, we were not against the economic arguments behind fuel subsidy removal, instead, we wanted the government to investigate the subsidy regime, bring culprits in the maladministration of that regime to book and recover stolen funds before commencing the policy discourse around subsidy removal;
  3. That we have not changed our earlier conviction in spite of a change in government. We have only acknowledged that the new government has persistently demonstrated its anti-corruption stance while seeking policy solutions to the economic crisis, though there have been gaps in policy management.

Indeed, four years after Ojota, our position remains the same. On the strength of this position, in our January 2016 State of the Nation broadcast, we challenged the nation to prioritise efficient downstream sector management by stating that:

It is in our collective interest to bring this aberration to an end, taking advantage of the dip in oil prices to effect a phased replacement of the subsidy regime with domestic production. Whereas the buzzword in the subsidy debate is “subsidy removal”, we are advocating “subsidy replacement”. Subsidy replacement would entail the adoption of targeted palliatives that would ensure that the benefits of intervention get to the so-called average Nigerian for whom it is designed while taking steps to restore full capacity for domestic production. This must be communicated effectively and transparently to stakeholders including the labour unions.

The words of Abraham Lincoln are worth repeating at this juncture: “Let the people know the truth and the country is safe.” We had expected that, in response to our call earlier in the year, the government would have consulted extensively with stakeholders and embarked upon extensive communication and enlightenment campaigns across the social spectrum, with particular attention to the middle class and the grassroots, on the new price regime prior to its introduction. This would have been a better-received sequence than the sudden policy introduction and the after-the-fact approach to informing and enlightening Nigerians. We understand that the government considers the N500 billion vote[29] for a social welfare programme in the 2016 budget the requisite palliative to cushion the effect of the price hike. A proper communication of this fact, particularly including a breakdown as to the use of the funds, would have constituted a vigorous pre-policy campaign.

Nevertheless, it should be clear to the reasoning mind that these gaps in policy articulation do not weigh in significance in comparison with the corruption-infested and oppressive approach to the subsidy question in 2012. Therefore, the call of the moment is not for the mobilisation of the citizenry in mass protest against an oppressive government but for all hands to be on deck to help a government that apparently genuinely seeks the welfare of the Nigerian but is faced with overwhelming challenges. It is in this regard that the following recommendations are made:

  1. The government should rework its communication strategy to ensure that Nigerians are carried along prior to, during and following the implementation of new policies. In this regard, the government must communicate clearly and transparently to Nigerians on the current petrol price policy as to whether or not the latest move is merely a hike in price or an actual deregulation. Even if it is the first step in the process of deregulation, Nigerians would want to know what happens if market conditions, in particular, foreign exchange realities, mandate a further increase in pump price. Would we, at that point, revert to subsidising? These matters transcend mere “grammatical nomenclatures” as the Minister of State for Petroleum has termed them[30]. They are very important issues and Nigerians deserve clarity;
  2. Good and effective governance at the federal, state and local levels must become the pivot of all palliative measures to alleviate and, indeed, end, the sufferings of the masses. To this end, we demand effective, efficient and transparent implementation of the 2016 budget, particularly the capital expenditure provisions and the social welfare programme;
  3. The anti-corruption war should be extended beyond the misappropriated defence funds generally referred to as “Dasuki Gate”; it should include the 2010-2011 fuel subsidy regime that has been linked to the theft of over N1 trillion of public funds in an election year. Indicted firms and persons should be investigated and stolen funds recovered, and these recovered funds should be injected, by way of a supplementary budget, into mitigating our infrastructural decay as well as the social welfare programme;
  4. Nothing short of a complete deregulation of the sector, characterised by adequate local refining, will salvage the petrol crisis in Nigeria;
  5. A Downstream Sector Bill should be sent to the National Assembly to pave the way for a completely deregulated regime. In the absence of a Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which is being delayed due to, among other factors, its extensive coverage, such a bill would replace the archaic regime provided by such laws as the Petroleum Act 1969 in terms of downstream sector administration. This is important because the average Nigerian is more directly affected by the downstream sector. It is instructive to note that, by the provisions of Sections 7(a) and (b) of the PPPRA Act 2003, regulation of petroleum pricing is a statutory responsibility. This must be changed such that, in a deregulated downstream sector, the PPPRA would operate as a price observatory agency alerting the public of reasonable price ranges so that consumers can tell if and when a certain fuel dispensing station is over-billing in relation to the market price, enabling customers to make informed decisions;
  6. The proposed Downstream Sector Bill would recognise the need for small businesses and households to access PMS for generator usage until the power sector stabilises, and should make adequate provision for same. The current situation, where well-meaning Nigerians seeking fuel to power their generators are clamped down along with black marketers, is unacceptable;
  7. The Consumer Protection Council (CPC), in conjunction with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), should be empowered by the proposed bill to locate and dismantle cartel pricing syndicates in the liberalised era.

Having stated these propositions, our warning at the beginning of the year bears repeating. On January 1, 2016, we said:

The year 2016 is a year of global upheavals, characterised by extreme uncertainties, intense political suspense, accelerated global terror and mounting economic pressure due to dwindling resources that will drive nations to the precipice and activate the rage of the poor[31].

I appeal to the government to take these and other pro-people ideas into consideration and to do all that must be done to alleviate the sufferings of our people and assuage the rage of the poor.

I appeal also to civil society, labour and the Nigerian people to come together to engage the government intelligently in finding solutions to the subsidy conundrum. We believe it is more productive for us to engage the government at the level of policy dialogue with a view to detecting subsisting cracks in the system, proffering sustainable interventions, and identifying the vestiges of the corrupt order who are resisting the clean-up of the system.

Fellow Nigerians, I cannot end this piece without reiterating the call for an overhaul of the Nigerian system and structure. Right now, about 27 states in the federation are broke and unable to pay salaries[32]. Such a system of dependent, non-viable federating units is unsustainable. The present economic challenges demand self-examination beyond the subsidy question – they are a call for a new geo-economic order. The call towards restructuring must be embraced while ensuring, through intelligent engagement, that the government is kept on its toes in delivering its promises to Nigerians. This call transcends political affiliation. It means that the so-called opposition parties must organise to engage the party in power intelligently and with alternative solutions rather than merely setting their sights on the next elections. It means that the All Progressives Congress must remember Nigerians are watching and must seek the most enduring ways to deliver on the promise of a New Nigeria. It means that civil society must keep itself abreast of the important facts and marshal those facts in engaging the government.

With her destiny in sight, we have worked for the good of this nation from the pulpit to the streets and to the podium. We have engaged the people in grassroots meetings and the government in policy roundtables. On every occasion, we have tried to deploy the right tool to achieve the desired result, which is, the welfare of our people and the greatness of our nation. In the words of Wu Ming Fu: “The effects of our actions may be postponed but they are never lost. There is an inevitable reward for good deeds and inescapable punishment for bad. Meditate upon this truth, and seek always to earn good wages from Destiny.”It is for this reason we will never turn a blind eye to maladministration and misgovernance.

We will point out bad governance wherever we find it and we will oppose it with every resource at our disposal. However, we have never been and will never be an opposition platform. Instead, we are a propositional platform demanding, not just by criticism but by policy alternatives, an irreducible minimum standard of governance below which Nigerians must not be subjected. By deploying the right tools, we shall continue to work for a Nigeria that works until Nigeria is saved, Nigeria is changed and Nigeria becomes great.

As the Scripture says in Galatians 6:1618 (NKJV):

16And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. 17From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. 18Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

Thank you for listening. God bless you and God bless our nation, Nigeria.

Pastor ‘Tunde Bakare
Serving Overseer,
The Latter Rain Assembly, Lagos, Nigeria
The Convener, Save Nigeria Group.

FOOTNOTES

[1]”David Cameron Calls Nigeria and Afghanistan ‘fantastically Corrupt'” BBC News. May 10, 2016. Accessed May 14, 2016. <http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-36260193/>.

[2]See, for instance, Murray-Bruce, Ben. “I Actually Believe Kachikwu Took the Right Decision for Our Economy. But Why Did the Then Opposition Frustrate GEJ from Doing It in 2012?” Twitter. May 12, 2016. Accessed May 14, 2016. <https://twitter.com/benmurraybruce/status/730753470521696256/>.

[3]Bakare, Tunde. “Press Release By The Convener of Save Nigeria Group: S.N.G Ojota Rally Day 4.” Save Nigeria Group. January 12, 2012. Accessed May 14, 2016. <http://savenigeriagroup.com/2012/01/12/press-release-by-the-convener-of-save-nigeria-group-s-n-g-ojota-rally-day-4/>.

[4]Bakare, Tunde. “The Simple Arithmetic of Oil Subsidy.” Tunde Bakare Official Website. December 18, 2011. Accessed May 14, 2016. <http://tundebakare.com/the-simple-arithmetic-of-oil-subsidy/>.

[5]Ibid

[6]Bakare, Tunde. “Subsidy Made Simple.” Save Nigeria Group. December 15, 2012. Accessed May 14, 2016. <http://savenigeriagroup.com/2012/01/15/subsidy-made-simple-pastor-tunde-bakare/>.

[7]Ibid

[8]Nwachukwu, Clara and Sebastine Obasi. “Why fuel subsidy must go (2).” Vanguard. May 28, 2015. Accessed May 14, 2016. <http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/05/why-fuel-subsidy-must-go-2/>.

[9]Bakare, Tunde. “Press Release by The Convener of Save Nigeria Group: S.N.G Ojota Rally Day 5.” Save Nigeria Group. January 13, 2012. Accessed May 14, 2016. <http://savenigeriagroup.com/2012/01/13/press-release-by-the-convener-of-save-nigeria-group-s-n-g-ojota-rally-day-5/>.

[10]Bakare, Tunde. “Kleptocracy Unlimited.” Save Nigeria Group. April 30, 2012. Accessed May 14, 2016. <http://savenigeriagroup.com/2012/04/30/kleptocracy-unlimited/>.

[11]“House Subsidy Report: 15 Nigerians indicted, recommended for sanction.” Premium Times. Accessed May 14, 2016. <http://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/4732-house_subsidy_report_15_nigerians_recommended_for_sanction.html/>.

[12]Ogunde, Afolabi. “Ribadu Report Exposes Crass Corruption in Petroleum Ministry, Diezani Reacts.” Business News. October 25, 2012. Accessed May 14, 2016. <http://businessnews.com.ng/2012/10/25/ribadu-report-exposes-crass-corruption-in-petroleum-ministry-diezani-reacts/>.

[13]“Oil theft: How FG ignored recommendations on pipeline surveillance.” Energy Mix Report. November 25, 2013. Accessed May 14, 2016. <http://energymixreport.com/oil-theft-how-fg-ignored-recommendations-on-pipeline-surveillance/>.

[14]“Fuel subsidy scam: Presidential committee indicts 21 firms, urges recover of N382 billion.” Premium Times. Accessed May 14, 2016. <http://www.premiumtimesng.com/business/93626-fuel-subsidy-scam-presidential-committee-indicts-21-firms-urges-recovery-of-n382-billion.html/>.

[15]See: http://www.cenbank.org/rates/crudeoil.asp

[16]See: http://www.cenbank.org/rates/exrate.asp?year=2012

[17]Ibid

[18] “Naira Strengthens Further Against The Dollar.” NTA. May 19, 2016. Accessed May 20, 2016. <http://www.nta.ng/news/finance/20160519-naira-strengthens-further-against-the-dollar/>.

[19]Ibid

[20]”Fuel Scarcity: FG Approves N407bn For Subsidy.” Channels Television. December 9, 2015. Accessed December 19, 2015. <http://www.channelstv.com/2015/12/09/fuel-scarcity-fg-approves-n407bn-for-subsidy/>.

[21]“Subsidy claims by oil marketers rise to N1.7tn in three years.” Business News. December 4, 2015. Accessed May 14, 2016. <http://businessnews.com.ng/2015/12/04/subsidy-claims-by-oil-marketers-rise-to-n1-7tn-in-three-years/>.

[22]“Fuel Subsidy Removal: “We were left with no other option than what we did” – Ibe Kachikwu.” Bella Naija. May 17, 2016. Accessed May 20, 2016. <https://www.bellanaija.com/2016/05/fuel-subsidy-removal-we-were-left-with-no-other-option-than-what-we-did-ibe-kachikwu-watch/>.

[23]Agbakwuru, Johnbosco, Michael Eboh, Joseph Erunke, Emma Ovuakporie, Grace Udofia and Henry Umoru. “Remove oil subsidy now, World Bank tells Buhari.” Vanguard. December 9, 2015. Accessed May 14, 2016. <http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/12/remove-oil-subsidy-now-world-bank-tells-buhari/>.

[24]“Falling oil prices: How are countries being affected?” BBC News. January 16, 2016. Accessed May 20, 2016. <http://www.bbc.com/news/world-35345874/>.

[25]Ibid

[26]Ibid

[27]Brodzinsky, Sibylla. “Venezuela president raises fuel price by 6,000% and devalues bolivar to tackle crisis.” The Guardian. February 18, 2016. Accessed May 14, 2016. <http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/18/venezuela-president-raises-fuel-price-by-1300-and-devalues-bolivar-to-tackle-crisis/>.

[28]Bakare, Tunde. “Roadmap To Successful Change.” Tunde Bakare Official Website. January 10, 2016. Accessed May 14, 2016. <http://tundebakare.com/roadmap-to-successful-change/>.

[29]Aziken, Emmanuel and Levinus Nwabughiogu. “Presidency unfolds N500bn social welfare programmes.” Vanguard. February 8, 2016. Accessed May 14, 2016. <http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/02/presidency-unfolds-n500bn-social-welfare-programmes/>.

[30]See 22

[31]Please listen to the audio of the Watchnight Service 2015 at The Latter Rain Assembly: <http://www.latterrainassembly.org/messages/Higher_Grounds_Greater_Heights.html/>.

[32]Ebulu, Simeon. “N300b CBN workers’ pay bailout for 27 states ready.” The Nation. July 27, 2015. Accessed May 14, 2016. <http://thenationonlineng.net/n300b-cbn-workers-pay-bailout-for-27-states-ready/>.

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