PCN News Bulletin, Vol. 14, 2012
PRESBY WEALTH CREATION FUND
- A Typical Illustration
25th May, 2012
In his agenda to
restore the lost glory of The Presbyterian Church of Nigeria and position it
strategically to assume its rightful place in the comity of churches in Nigeria,
the Prelate and Moderator of the General Assembly, Most Rev. Prof. Emele Mba
Uka has outlined a number of plans one of which is the PRESBY WEALTH CREATION FUND (PWCF). The programme, which will
mobilize funds to the tune of N1billion from Presbyterians who are willing and
are touched, is aimed at pooling funds for the purpose of rehabilitating moribund
projects of the Church in order to expand the Church’s income base and help in
reducing unemployment amongst Presbyterians and members of the larger society.
PWCF has been planned out such that it will not prejudice the on-going priority
projects of the Church which are the Prelate’s official residence in Calabar,
the Hope Waddell
University project, Ohafia, and the
renovation of the General Assembly Office, Aba.
Many people would
be wondering why the hue and cry about moribund projects when actually, the
Church is faced with such capital-intensive and priority projects such as those
mentioned above. I must confess that I also wondered, until I was priviledged
to witness a scene this week at the Presbyterian Tubercolosis and Leprosy
Hospital (PTLH), Mbembe, Obubra, Cross
The day was
Wednesday, 23rd May, 2012 and the time was 9. 30 a.m. The programme
was the Prelate’s tour of Upper Cross River Synod and the location was PTLH,
Mbembe, Obubra. The Prelate and his wife were there as well as the Principal
Clerk, Rev. N. N. Eme; the Deputy Clerk, Rev. Dan E. Etim; the General Assembly
Accountant, Elder Edet E. Effiong; UCR Synod Moderator, Rev. Anthony Obim; the
Synod Clerk, Rev. O. A. Bassey; Synod Legal Adviser, Elder Barr. Anthony A.
Obo; the Prelate’s Chaplain, Rev. Uchenna Nwankpa and Obubra Presbytery
HRH Louis Enyam,
the Clan head of Ijanabit; HRH Ovan Mbina Mbina Ajom III, Clan Head of Apiapum
and HRH Peter Uduma, Village Head of Imabana Itamtet were all seated in the
Hospital’s hall which also serves as worship chapel. The traditional rulers
represented the hospital’s landlord communities of Imabana Ochokwu, Apiapum and
Imabana Itamtet. They came with members of their Councils of Chiefs numbering
more than twenty.
The spokesman of
the three donor communities, HRH Ovan Mbina Mbina Ajom 111, a committed
Presbyterian, lamented the woes of both the hospital and the donor communities.
According to him,
the vast expanse of land on which the hospital was built, was donated to the
Church in 1959. The white missionaries who took possession of the land
instantly built the hospital on a part of it for the care of leprosy and
tuberculosis patients. The following has transpired since 1959:
The annual land rent was fixed at one British
pound in 1959. For 16 years, PCN has not paid a kobo to the landlords.
The agreement in 1959 stipulated the fencing of
the hospital. Till date, there is no
fence in place.
The buildings erected in 1959 or thereabouts
have become derelict.
There is extensive encroachment on the land by
There is a general air of decay and misuse.
The hospital is still operational, even though
skeletally, as there were still some tuberculosis and leprosy patients being
taken care off with drugs supplied by the Government as the treatment of both
diseases is free in Nigeria.
The Prelate was obviously touched
in his heart. It took the man in him, and in fact, in all the members of his
entourage not to break down in tears. He issued some directives on the spot
which include the setting up of a Committee to negotiate a realistic land rent
and pay the arrears involved. He even
donated N50, 000 of his personal money as a PR gesture to the traditional
rulers and their Councils of Chiefs.
Why on earth would a Church own
such an important project and allow it to decay and fizzle out just like that?
Not one; not even two. There is the Mary Slessor Joint Hospital (MSJH), Itu, Akwa Ibom State and there is Eja Memorial Joint Hospital (EMJH),
Itigidi, Cross River State. Others are Presbyterian Mission Hospital
(PMH), Ivenger, Benue State; Ekoli Presbyterian Joint Hospital (EPJH),
Ekoli-Edda, Ebonyi State and the new Presbyterian Health Institute, Uburu which
needs a re-orientation and an injection of funds. As it is with PTLH, so it is
with all these.
There are however some
exceptions. The Presbyterian Rural
Improvement Mission (RIM) Hospital, Ikwo and the Presbyterian Joint
Hospital, Uburu are alive
and thriving, thanks to the annual financial grant provided the hospitals by
the Government of Ebonyi State. In fact, a visit to RIM, Ikwo, recently by the
Prelate showed that in the midst of decay, there is hope. The hospital is well and alive, with new and
modern buildings and equipments as well as a good complement of nursing and
medical staff. The Prelate had to
dedicate a new ultra-modern ante-natal hall complete with modern facilities and
air-conditioning during his visit early May, 2012.
The primary duty of the church is
to win souls for Jesus Christ. Winning souls is a function of human and
material investment – manpower and money. This is why the Church invests in
money-yielding ventures in order to augment its takings for the purpose of
running the Church, the chief aspect of which is mission/evangelism. This is
why the Church must revamp its moribund projects and invest in new ones. Besides, the presence of a mission project in
a particular community is a vital agent of evangelism. HRH Ovan Mbina Mbina Ajom III of Apiapum clan
corroborated this fact. He told the
Prelate that the presence of the Tuberculosis and Leprosy hospital in the area
for over fifty years was a vital force in making the people of the community
Presbyterians. And remember, when the missionaries built Hope Waddell Training Institution,
Calabar; Duke Town Secondary School, Calabar; Edgerly Girls’ School, Calabar;
Presbyterian Joint Hospital, Uburu; Union Secondary School, Ibiaku; the Presbyterian
Secondary School, Abakaliki; Macgregor College, Afikpo (the last two are still being
run by the Government of Ebonyi State), the dying institutions mentioned above
as well as the numerous primary schools in the areas the missionaries
penetrated, the index was not to make profit. They were investing for God. The
missionaries invested good money in these projects as a means of conversion and
pastoring the natives as Christians. You and I can testify to the success of
these projects in making many of us the Presbyterians we are today.
The story of the Presbyterian
Tuberculosis and Leprosy
Hospital, Mbembe, Obubra,
is a typical illustration of the need for the revamping of the Church’s
moribund projects. HRH Ajom 111 of Apiapum told the Prelate that many mainline
and new churches were making incursions into Obubra area and if the Church
didn’t wake up to the need to fix things right with the hospital, members of
the community who were Presbyterians might be tempted to look elsewhere.
You can now
appreciate why the Prelate is pursuing this pet project. Right from the last
quarter of 2011 when he mooted the idea of the Presby Wealth Creation Fund
(PWCF), he has spent time and resources to plan it out. And he has done quite a lot of publicity to
back up the project. He has given talks on it to every Church forum to which he
has been invited at the Parish, Presbytery, Synod and General Assembly levels
and he has emphasized it during his tours of Synods which began in April 2012.
He has gone ahead and written a well-worded letter which is being distributed
to Presbyterians across the length and breadth of Nigeria
as well as the Mission Presbyteries of Cotonou-Lome in the Republics of Benin
The letter appeals to Presbyterians who are touched by the Holy Spirit and are
willing to be counted in the number of God’s instruments in revamping the dying
Presbyterian projects for which the Church was well known in times past.
We need to do this
to get these projects to offer the social services for which they were
established. This way, the Church would really be our brother’s keeper. The
parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk 10: 25 – 37) is a good example of the gospel
action responsibility of the Church. We need to do this so that, in offering
social services, we might get some added revenue to plough into other
ventures. We need to do this to be able
to offer employment to the teeming number of the unemployed, including
Presbyterians. We need to do this to
fulfill our mission/evangelism mandate.
Anyhow you look at it, it behoves you and I to do it.
The Prelate is
looking for one thousand Presbyterians who are blessed and are willing to stand
in the gap for Christ. They are to
donate one million naira each, making a total of N1bn. To kick-start this fund, the Prelate has
already donated his personal N1million. The fund will be managed by a team of
experts set up for the purpose. It will
not go into the G. A. treasury and managed by the Church. Proper account will
be rendered by the Committee in the spirit of transparency and accountability.
If the Lord has touched you, get in touch with the Prelate on 08030727568 or
In this year of
building for God (ref. the G. A. Theme for 2012 which is Arise & Build, Neh. 2: 18), let us allow God to use us and
build for Him. PWCF is for revamping the
dying projects possibly for revenue and mainly to keep them running well for
evangelism. If you can’t go out to win souls, let your money do it for
you. Remain blessed.
Rev. K. U. Eme
Director of Information &
The Presbyterian Church of Nigeria
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