Adeyemo Olajire Philip
It is a good thing to note that religious organisations have been contributing to the socio-economic development of Nigeria since their inception. Missionaries started with the establishment of the first primary schools, 1843 in Badagry, and they helped reduce illiteracy at a very fast rate. Those schools provided qualitative education at affordable prices while many were even free.
Unfortunately, instead of the government to establish her schools and make them compete with the privately owned ones, the government mischievously took over private schools and ran them aground. Religious organisations in Nigeria watched helplessly how the quality of education was bastardised by government. It was not until 1990’s when religious organisations returned into education investment.
Religious organisations also invested in the provision of health care centres, though they are not as many as the schools they own, yet their impacts are felt wherever they are located. Some operate maternity centres in local areas while some offer routine medical check-up.
In 1999, Madonna University was approved as the first religious organisation owned private university in Nigeria, since then, other religious groups have been establishing universities all over Nigeria. However, so much criticism has accompanied the ‘exorbitant’ fees introduced by them as people claim the poor cannot afford them.
The fact that these universities were established by religious organisation makes it look ‘exploitative’ to critics because they believe that services of religious organisations should either be free or cheap as they were funded by followers’ contributions. Moreover, they have invested rightly and I believe the fees would be more affordable in the future.
Media (TV and radio) stations of religious organisations are being operated on various outfits. Some are into real estate, sports and building of skill acquisition centres. All these are not cheap, they cost a huge sums. Setting up a standard university …Read More
Source:: PM Newspaper