Saturday, March 17, 2012

Built With Our Sweat, We Can't Afford Church-Owned University - Poor Members Cry Out

Fees of Church-owned universities in Nigeria per semester:

Bowen University – N650,000, Covenant University – N640,000, Benson Idahosa – N500, 000, Babcock University – N450, 000, Redeemers University – N375, 000, Ajayi Crowther University – N350, 000, Fountain University, Oshogbo – N320,000

Samuel Alayande had worked more than half of his life for his church. Not because he had the calling, but he chose to be dedicated in any church activity.
He and his wife whom she married in the church were never found wanting in any church activity.

Just as they made donations to keep the church activity afloat, they gave their energies for any labour required in the church.

They considered whatever service as necessary not only for spiritual gain but also for the expansion of the church. The church then decided to own a university, members contributed hugely with every remaining kobo in their pockets. Alayande, like other poor members gave N9 out of every N10 he had.

Apart from giving his meager earnings in offerings, tithes and donations to the church in order to bring the project to fruition, he and members of his family worked tirelessly for the project. They cleared the bushes, they toil the ground during the foundation process, carried blocks, carried bags of cements just to ensure the project came to lime light.

Few years after, Alayande’s sons and daughters who grew in the church could not study in the church-owned university because their parents could not afford the huge fees charged by the institution they helped to build. Alayande’s case typifies one of the several cases of how the poor is massively working for the rich.

It is no news that several church-owned universities were built on the donations, offerings and tithes from the poor members of the church. Even when they had no more money to put into the construction, they gave their sweat and toil; doing all kinds of manual labour to actualise the completion of what they often refer to as their own universities.

Yet, these people, after the completion of the project, can’t afford the fees, they can’t have their children trained in the universities they helped to build.

Ironically, the manipulation of the poor continues even as their regular offerings and tithes are used to service the day to day running of these institutions that have become the exclusive preserve of the rich.

In spite of the phenomenal rise in the number of private universities in the country, not less than N1million is paid yearly by parents who have their children in these private universities. How many of the poor members of religious bodies can afford this huge amount to have their children trained in these institutions for at least four years?

Bolaji, a young brilliant chap with excellent JAMB and Post-UME results which qualified him to study medicine had his hope of studying in the university owned by his church dashed merely because his parents who are members of the church could not afford the fees.

Another young man also lamented why he had to leave a particular church as a result of what he described as injustice – taking from the poor to give to the rich.

“So can you explain to me why I shouldn’t leave the church? Why should I continue in that deceit? How has it changed and affected my world? Why are these church-owned universities unaffordable to the common man? I pay my tithe, my church builds a school, but I can’t afford to send my child to that school. They made it only for the rich when the poor contributed more to the school. It is ridiculous,” he said.

Just as others grumble in silence on the trend of funding a church-owned university but can’t benefit from it, others believe that tithes and offerings are commandments from God and should be obeyed.
They believe the reward is in heaven as they continued to donate generously from their meager resources whether they can afford to send their children to the school or not.

Saturday Vanguard gathered that from the beginning, church members were mobilized to the sites to help in construction work, carrying blocks, clearing bushes and doing all kinds of manual labour. Most of the foundation projects were completed on internally generated human and material resources.

But how would the church members who have contributed spiritually, financially (no matter how little), and sometimes through labour (physically) and cannot afford the high fees charged by their church-owned universities be compensated?

How would the church entrench the much needed sense of belonging for the universities built with the sweat and toil of poor members even if they try to justify that university education cannot come cheap. Something obviously needs to be done to correct the anomaly.


Anonymous said...

Nothing should be done. None of these religious members were forced to keep donating their hard-earned money to their fellow human beings who are glaringly living luxuriously, showing no humility, generosity and concern for them. Let them keep saying touch not my anointed. People like these are important to the cycle of life especially economics. I know of a hard working church member, training in fact as a pastor whose child can't even attend church primary school because it's the most expensive in the area, over 100k per term. Na wa o.

J. said...

this post is rubbish and unreliable jor. I'm a student of one of the above named schools. and the school fees u posted here is so, so, so not true. From that, I can deduce that the rest of this story ( that is even too long) is a big LIE

Anonymous said...

Nobody forced them, they shld go & sit down. Stick to a church & stop building new churches springing up everywhere. @ d end of d day u will be labourers, Daddy & mummy overseers will enjoy ur labours. Building schools wit ur little salaries in d name of helping out. Govt universities αяє subsidise, church schools αяє not. I'm sticking to ♍Ɣ old generation church worshipping God. Shekena

Vivian. said...

No.1, I am sure some of these churches(LIVING FAITH, for example) did not bring out a special offering basket for 'school project' and even if they did, no one was forced to donate. These things are always freewill.

No.2, as a church goer dat believes in tithe paying, will u now desist from paying tithes and give offerings( wch the bible commands) cos u feel the money is used to build schools? Your duty is to pay ur tithe and wateva the money is used for should not be ur business- ur own is dat u hav paid ur tithe(prayin on ur tithe) while God bears u witness.

No.3, I really dont get get it. Are u sayin that because d church is wat it is, it shud automatically be a charity organisation? Even if the school fees is a hundred thousand which is less dan wat some state universities are taking from students now, u will still find some members of the church who wud complain. It is called 'private' cos it gets no funding watsoever from the govt and therefore self funds. If the school is open to all members for free, it still will not take all.

Again, poster, u write like it is only in Nigeria we have church owned schools. Do u have an idea of wat students pay to study at ORAL ROBERTS and its likes abroad?

My advice: for those who donate in these churches and still grumble, I can assure u ur money is lost as u will definitely not be blessed by it. U might even incur God's curse. So...dont donate all if u are prone to grumbling. It's safer.

My advice to poster: Run ur own not judge so u will not be judged.

Anonymous said...

Hahhahahaha....awon maga for life.