In this interview, Patriot Patrick Osagie Eholor, social crusader and President of One Love Foundation argues that the National Assembly does not deserve the huge pay they get:
The banks in Nigeria should live up to expectations
It is about Nigeria. It is about the Black Race. It is about our mentality. I am angry. Things have to change. It is not just about Stanbic IBTC Bank. It is about all the banks in Nigeria. It is across board. If the bankers do not behave responsibly at this time of our need and the government do not change their attitude Nigeria is going to be doomed. I have a lot of faith in this country. That is why I left Canada to stay here and contribute my quota to the country. Unfortunately, if banks cannot respect someone like me in the society, who are they going to respect? If banks cannot give journalists money in this country to live and build their house.
Govt. should encourage journalists
If government don’t give journalists incentives they are definitely going to be biased. That’s why you see the press also going down because some of these pressmen are compromising as their children have to eat. Imagine a society like Canada and America. The New York Times get palliative support from their government. They respect journalists and that is why their journalists are very strict and they eat fire for the citizens to drink water.
Is something wrong with the Black Race?
Take a look at the police. It is only in this country police escort the crooked politicians. You have an army of police escorting pastors. You have their followers using stickers saying “You are covered by the blood of Jesus.” Something must be wrong with the Black Race. The Black Race is Rat Race. It is very shameful.
My standoff with Stanbic IBTC Bank
Going back to what Stanbic IBTC Bank did to me. I have a hotel I just completed building. I spent over N480 million building it. Fortunately for me I sold some of my properties to Winners Chapel Church in Benin. The proceeds of the sale I trade with that money with Stanbic Bank. I put the money in Mutual Trust. I have other money coming from the proceeds of my business in Canada. When the time come I decided to create more opportunities for people. I built a hotel and a plaza. They were all built with my money. The bank didn’t assist me. I had some contracts that I was going to do for Uniben worth N200million. The bank turned me down that Uniben will not pay. Uniben is a federal institution. If Uniben had offended them I didn’t. Stanbic Bank was supposed to check my credit on the Credit Bureau System. If Nigeria does not have a Credit Bureau System it is a shame. You must have a Credit Bureau System to check those who would pay and those who will default. They asked me to bring business registration. I did. They asked me to bring a collaterable property. I went to Lagos and brought one of my properties. I paid N46 million for evaluation. I paid over N4 million to the Lagos State Government. I spent about N6 million in trying to get this loan of N25 million. Later my account officer, Jacinta, told me that my account is okay but that my application was denied. She said it was denied because of Covid-19. That they don’t give loans to hotels, entertainment centres and owners of plazas. If you don’t give loan to these categories of people who do you give it to? You give to politicians or pastors? I was angry because Nigeria is about to feel some pains.
Crisis looms ahead
We have our vessels in the ship. We are begging offtakers to take it because we don’t have storage like Saudi Arabia and Russia. The cost of production of our oil is about 17 dollars. Now, the dollar has appreciated while the naira has depreciated. Presently, nobody is buying our oil.
Cut salaries and allowances of NASS members, end security votes to governors
What do we do? If the government is responsible at this time it will reduce the salaries and allowances of all National Assembly members. We have to stop this issue of giving governor’s what they call security vote. What is secure in our society when you don’t have plans for unemployed army of youths that we have. You don’t have infrastructure. No standard hospital.
The idea of giving governors security vote should stop and let us put that money genuinely into farming. Let us encourage our men and women by giving them soft loans so that they can farm. We can become a country that exports it’s food to overseas countries. So that we can earn our foreign exchange from so doing. Things have to change.
Prosecute looters of our treasury
We also have to try those generals who stole our money meant to combat the Boko Haram. A lot of them were arrested at the airport but they are not been prosecuted. We found a lot of money in a building in Ikoyi, Lagos, but as we speak the matter is dead. Recently, fire engulfed a building in Abuja because they have told Nigerians that they have shared billions of naira as palliative measure. I didn’t get any of such money in my community likewise many other people didn’t.
This nonsense must stop. We must look inward to know what we are going to leave behind for our children to inherit. We cannot live forever. We are destroying our children and it is very sad. Our prayer is for our children to be better than us.
Let us start investing in our country
Our idea of using our money to buy foreign things should stop. We should look inwards and stop investing abroad but start investing here in Nigeria. I should have invested in Canada. I remember a lady once asked me what am I going to do in hell? I asked her what is hell. So, what am I doing in Nigeria? Comparing Nigeria to the western world Nigeria is hell.
Over there is heaven because they don’t plan only for themselves. They also plan for their upcoming generations. Nigeria is where you have elected officials who will have a truck of mobile policemen with horsewhip to whip you who elected them. What an irony.
Relationship with Secretary to the Edo State Government (SSG), Osarodion Ogie
Osarodion Ogie is a dear brother to me. We have come a long way. Sometimes you disagree with people and you later agree with them. And sometimes you have issues with people but when you come to understand each other you become friends. Osarodion Ogie is my friend and brother. I have nothing against him. I don’t know who went out there to use my name to play politics. I am going to look for who wrote that piece and I would sue him because I didn’t give him any of those information. I cannot even remember if anything like that happened in 2007.
They should stop using my name to play their dirty politics. I am not a card carrying member of PDP or APC. I am a social crusader. I love my life and my family. They cannot put me at risk or in any situation where I will feel uncomfortable with people. So, whoever wrote that piece owe me an apology