The Man Who Saw God Face To Face
Raphael Okechukwu Nweze
This lecture has been subdivided into the following subheadings:
- Necessary corrections
- Causes of Youths’ Predicaments
Solutions and Remedies.
- Political Causes
- Educational Causes
- Psychological Causes
- Social Causes
A wise man first lays a good foundation before he starts to build a house. He clears the ground, digs the trenches and lays the foundation blocks. Then, he builds on the solid foundation. The above parable explains why the necessary corrections are important.
- Dependence on External Sources
A study of the life of the Igbo people shows that Igbo people are unduly dependent on other nations and tribes for their survival. We depend on outsiders for yam, rice, onions, tomatoes, pineapple, goat, cow, groundnut, and fish. We also depend on outsiders for building material, clothes, shoes, etc. What this means is that our savings go to other peoples, instead of being reinvested into our environment. The market belongs to the producers, not to the consumers. It is the producers that determine the prices. While patronizing other people, Igbo people should invest in their own economy. Youths can produce these things and make money from them.
- Gardens and Plantations
Some youths have very large compounds and farmlands. A wise youth can cultivate plants within the compound or the farms. These plants, especially fruit trees grow by themselves. You may not need to labour much for their productivity. Girls can maintain small vegetable gardens. The farms and gardens yield profit when harvests are sold from time to time.
- Packaging of Products
Edible products should be well packaged while they are on sale. Such products include garri, fried yam, plantain, akara, etc. Unfortunately, these things are sold in open places. The result is that dust are blown over and into them every moment a vehicle passes by. The dirt constitute health hazards, and people are dying pre-maturely because of diseases and infection, which weaken the body’s immune system.
- Uniform Price
In the markets, you observe that there is no uniform price for a particular product. One trader sells at N1000, another at N1500, and yet some other at N3000.The same product! This practice is against the commandment of God which states that there shall be equal measure (uniform price) for a product. He condemned the use of false scale.
- Personality-Based Price Tags.
Traders sell at normal price to the ordinary man, and sell at very high price to those they consider rich or wealthy citizens. This practice is evil. Jesus sounded a note of warning when he said, “Let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’, and your ‘no’ be ‘no’. Anything more than these two comes from evil”. It is an abomination before God to sell one product to people at different prices.
The problem with many people is that they learn only one trade and then stop. When the trade is out of season, such people become idle. Learn from the versatile person who learns many trades. When one trade is out of season, he switches over to the one that is in season.
In the same vein, students should not limit their study to their course of interest. They should read wide. No knowledge is waste, and every knowledge gained is an advantage.
- Heavenly and Earthly Accounts
Every body has a heavenly account, just as people have bank accounts. You must not allow the earthly account to deplete your heavenly account. Your heavenly account is credited each time you perform works of charity, mercy and kindness. It is enriched when you are honest. When you cheat others, Angels subtract from your heavenly accounts. Hence, the measure you give will be the measure you get. Jesus says He is coming soon to reward everybody, each according to his deeds.
- Running Away with Master’s Money
This practice is evil. It disappoints God and the Angels. Youths should avoid such practice. Otherwise, things will get worse, because people will not help the youths. Already, many business men do not employ boys. Drivers now operate without conductors.
Some claim that Jacob cheated Laban to become wealthy. It is not true. It was the Angels that made Jacob rich, because Laban cheated Jacob ten times.
- Immediate Benefit
Youths are easily deceived by immediate benefits. Any engagement that does not yield immediate benefit is abandoned. You should know that some businesses produce immediate benefit; some, medium benefits; and others, long term benefits. A wise youth will make good use of all opportunities.
Many youths are busy expecting a big business. Therefore, they do not engage in small businesses, which are beneficial. Keep yourself busy with small businesses while you wait for business engagements.
Causes Of Unemeployment
Political Causes Of Unemeployment
Corruption is the main problem killing Nigeria. That is why the youths lack opportunities for success, education and prosperity. All because a few privileged Nigerians embezzle public funds to the detriment of the masses. Below are a few examples:
Economic Causes Of Youths Unemeployment
- Senators award juicy allowances to themselves, to the neglect of the masses. Every senator supposes to receive a total of N1.06M per year. But, they illegally award themselves the following allowances and benefits:
- Hardship Allowance - 1.242M
- Constituency Allowance - 4.0968M
- Furniture Allowance - 7.452M
- Newspaper Allowance - 1.242M
- Wardrobe Allowance - 0.621M
- Recess Allowance - 0.248M
- Accommodation - 4.968M
- Utilities - 0.828M
- Domestic staff - 1.863M
- Entertainment - 0.828M
- Personal assistants - 0.621M
- Vehicle maintenance - 1.863M
- Leave Allowance - 0.048M
- Severance Gratuity - 7.452M
- Motor vehicle Allowance - 9.936M
(Source: Newswatch Magazine, June 27, 2011)
- Former speaker, Bankole, illegally raised his annual salary from N8M to N400M.
- Former Chairman of Nigeria Ports Authority, Bode George, awarded one single contract several three hundred (300) times!
- Abacha family misappropriated over N800 Billion which was recovered from them.
- Former Managing Director of Oceanic Bank, Cecilia Ibru, returned N191 Billion when she was prosecuted.
- Nigerians are still asking what happened to $12.4 Billion Gulf War Oil Account, during the regime of IBB.
- The bad practice now in some public offices is to return money to the federal treasury, instead of using the money to develop the nation. By the time the money is returned, the corrupt office holders have made huge interests.
Educational Causes of Youths’ Unemeployment
- Wrong priorities.
- Buying and Sell syndrome.
Igbo people prefer buying and selling to developing industries and establishments. This practice makes the Igbo man only a servant, an agent. The society should invest in productivity.
- Banks do not lend money to the Real Estate.
Money is not made available to people to develop industries, manufacturing companies, etc. That is why Youths encounter unemployment. So many funds are spent on importation and on financing foreign projects, which provide public office holders juicy returns.
Social Causes of Youth’s Unemeployment
- Monetization of handiwork.
In primary schools, pupils are made to pay for handiworks, instead of teaching the children how to become productive. In developed counties, children are provided with tools in the form of toys. They are able to build houses, cars, trucks, bridges, trains, aero planes, etc. By the time the child is in secondary school, his creativity would have been developed. That is the essence of “practice makes perfect” and “catching them young”. Professor Charles Soludo has observed that Nigeria youths are practically unemployable: youths lack knowledge and skills.
- Waiting for your lectures.
Your lecture may not have enough time to teach you everything. That is why you must stand on your feet and find your way, through personal effort.
In order for life to become more meaningful, Igbo people must learn to help one another. Those in positions of authorities should use their positions to encourage, promote and develop general wellbeing.
Solutions and Remedies
- Misplaced values.
Igbo people count money and wealth as the marks of a successful man, whereas the true marks of a man are knowledge, wisdom and love.
- Christmas Concert with Jeeps and V-Booths
It is a regular practice by people to come home with different sorts of luxury cars during Christmas, New Year and Easter. These things are good, but they do not develop the society. People should think of investment, establishing industries, offices and companies, so that there will be employment for the youths.
- Ideas Develop the Nations.
Youths should value ideas, creativity, innovation and development, not just keeping themselves busy enjoying what others laboured to produce.
Question and Answers
- Education is the best investment, and the best legacy to a child. Youths should not play with their studies. They should not neglect education.
- Use righteousness and prayer to pull down the strongholds of wickedness. Consider the case of Sam Edem, who burnt N270Million while naked, and used the ash to bathe in a grave. Imagine the number of evil spirits he brings with him to the offices and churches.
- Become proactive. Find solutions to the problems of mankind. By so doing, you prosper yourself. That is the secret behind successful businesses.
- Learn many trades, not just one.
- Think big; start small.
- Learn to save money.
- Keep yourself abreast of current affairs, by reading newspapers, magazine, journals, books, etc.
- Discourage and fight bribery and corruption.
- Discourage crimes, which include examination malpractices, forgery of certificates and results, fake products, embezzlement of public funds, poor maintenance culture, idleness, the culture of impunity, etc.
- Endeavour to establish educational foundations to help the poor and less-privileged.
- Respond to Government program, promotions, advertisements, etc.
- How can a student solve the problem of forgetfulness?
- Try, try and try again.
- Make notes (points), which you can read through during revision.
- Exercise your brain by reading. If you do not, by the time you become an adult, your forgetfulness will be so much.
- At times, you need to read a book several times to master and remember the contents.
- Pray for the spirit of understanding and retentive memory.
Universities do not have enough capacity to admit successful candidates. How can a person, who is not admitted, get formal education?
You must not lose hope. Today, there are many Online (Internet) colleges. All you need is a Laptop and Internet connection.
You can educate yourself on any course through the Internet. Before, many private candidates studied at home and passed their examinations and got certificates. With Internet, it is even easier today.
A trader had some stock of goods before there was an increase in price. He bought the goods at a low price. Is it a sin to sell such goods at a higher, current, price?
As far as he is selling at current market price, it is not a sin. It is his good luck and advantage. A trader can safe-keep his goods to sell in future at higher price, provided that he does not cause scarcity. God told Jeremiah to safe-keep an item because the future price will be very high. Jeremiah did and gained a lot. A 100% profit is a good enough gain on an article of trade.
How can one source (get) funds to establish a business?
1. You can get money from relations.
2. Banks provide loans. Only that they will ask you to provide a collateral or a surety.
Is it a sin for a person to get something for somebody and make profit out of it?
It is not a sin, provided that such a profit is not excessive. The Bible says that we should not muzzle a cow that is threshing corn, and that a worker is worthy of his pay (reward). Such profit must not be excessive to the detriment of the buyers.
A trader purchased 10 goods for sale. On his way back, 5 goods got damaged. Can he increase the selling price of the remaining 5 goods, in order to recover loss?
He can increase the price. Traders are free to take their profits. The point being made is that such profit should not be excessive, to the detriment or severity of the buyer.
What is your advice to a student who wants somebody to write project for him? Somebody can write project for you, but you should read the project and re-write it in your own words.
Somebody got some money or wealth through illegal means. How can he spend the money in order to obtain forgiveness from God?
- First, you have to return the money or wealth.
- If the owner has died, you can return it to his children or give it to handicapped or give to charity organisation. In that way, it becomes a blessing and no more a sin (See the parable of the shrewd servant.)
What should a rich man do in order to enter the kingdom of heaven?
- It is very good to be rich and wealthy.
- While you enjoy your riches and wealth, remember to help the poor people around you.
- In the case of Lazarus and the rich man, the rich man supposed to pay for the medical treatment of Lazarus, and provide dresses for him. He failed to do that, and that was why Heaven rejected him. He did not care for his brother.
- “The youths need to be clear in their mind that the process of rethinking, redesigning, rebuilding and rebranding themselves implies a break with continuity… It indicates the importance of leapfrogging into a new era, an era in which things are done differently (and correctly)”
Tell magazine may 2011, P.39
- “The recent revolution in Egypt was ignited by writings on Internet portals like Facebook, Twitter and Blogspot….If we are serious about reigniting a revolution of the mind, then our leaders must do more to get the nation reading and writing now,”
Tell magazine, may 2011