BY Akeeb Alarape, Osogbo
The Methodist Church of Nigeria has on Monday expressed its willingness to partner with Osun State Government in agriculture by going into mechanised farming.
This was even as Governor Rauf Aregbesola stated that the only successful nations are those who cultivate the land for agriculture and not those who dig into the land for oil and other mineral resources.
Prelate Methodist Church Nigeriaâ€Ž, His Eminence, Dr. Samuel Emeka Kanu Uche during a courtesy visit to the governor at the Governor’s office in Osogbo noted that the church is strategising on how to improve the economy of the state through commercial farming that will provide jobs for the youth.
The clergy who pointed out that the state and the nation at large will overcome the present economic hardship like it overcame insurgency in the Northern part of Nigeria.
The Prelate commended the state government for looking inward on how to take the state forward at the face of the dwindling oil revenue in Nigeria, suggesting to government at all levels the need for proper taxation for the growth of the economy.
He encouraged the governor not to be deterred by critics, saying there is little or nothing that any government can do without the necessary funds.
“The Methodist church as a body is strategising on how to assist government in the employment of people. You can help us in Osun by giving us land for commercial agriculture. When we commence farming activities on a mechanised scale, indigenes of Osun will be able to get employment.
“If you are kind enough to give us the land and an enabling environment, since it is a business venture, we will definitely pay tax, but as religious body, the church and the mosques, will not pay tax.
“Without money, there is less that you can do, I know money will come, I sympathise with you and we are believing that oil prices will soon rise, we shall continue to pray for you and Nigeria.
“I want to suggest to Nigeria government to do proper taxation, most people don’t pay tax, if we get people to pay the accurate tax and it goes into government purse, then we will overcome our present situation like we did with the Boko Haram insurgents”. The Prelate emphasised.
Governor Aregbesola while responding commended Methodist church for wanting to strengthening the economy of the country and that of Osun through Agriculture.
The Governor held that the only successful nation’s are those tilling the soil for the purpose of planting and living on the produce of the land, adding that such country will never end up miserable or poor.
He said, “Humanity has not found alternative to consumption of food as a means of survival, it is quite idiotic for any nation to depend on another country for her food. The starting point of our economic recovery is the ability to feed ourself.
“I want to commend the Methodist for wanting to participate in the production of sufficient food for our people, I am also commending you for your foresight, we will support you all the way by providing you with whatever size of land you need free of charge but it will be strictly for faming”. The Governor stated.Â