Stop believing christianity is associated with poverty, Pastor Unction Timothy tells youths at 2022 International Youth Conference

Pastor Olufemi Unction Timothy

By Boluwatife Oparinde

The Minister-in-charge, Christ Apostolic Church, Chapel of Praise, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Pastor Olufemi Unction Timothy, has corrected the notion that Christianity is associated with poverty, challenging youths on gaining financial freedom.

Pastor Timothy corrected this impression among the youths of Christ Apostolic Church, Babajide Region while speaking on Financial Empowerment on Friday, 5th August, 2022 at the just concluded CACYOF 2022 International Youth Conference and Thanksgiving Celebration held at CAC, Babajide Regional Headquarters, Odo-Owa, Kwara State. 

The cleric who stated that the agenda of God is that we will lend to nations, expressed that, the system of financial freedom in the Kingdom is different from the system of financial kingdom in the secular world.

According to him, "regardless of the socioeconomic, demographic or geographical situations, teenagers/youth are faced with some degree of difficulty or uncertainty especially financially as they transition to adulthood. However, the situation that youth experience in developing countries like Nigeria is one of the most difficult in many respects, and the picture is particularly grave for adolescent girls and young women. Youth are disproportionately affected by high unemployment rates and most financial capacity is at the zero level. Information and Communications Technology (ICT) penetration into Nigeria has brought renewed interest in the investment and modern development."

"Currently, the level of its use is evident in the proliferation of the internet access points, the use of Laptops, cell phones, IPods, I-Phones, IPads, ATMs, credit cards etc. It is of great concern that the country's image has also been dented in the ICT world as a result of the activities of some Nigerians who has turned the internet into a cheap channel for the perpetration of online crimes, ranging from '419' 'Yahoo' "Yahoo plus" etc," he added.

Pastor Timothy defined Financial Empowerment as "the combination of knowledge, skills, attitudes, and especially behaviors that people need to make sound personal finance decisions, suited to their social and financial circumstances." Therefore, a financially empowered person is both informed and skilled. They understand how they spend their money, make wise financial decisions, and have access t resources to help them reach their goals."

Sharing his practical experience, the clergyman asserted that, "True Financial Empowerment is not a substitute for the poverty reduction activities, but a critical component that is often missing or underutilized. Having access to financial and social assets is a key contributing factor to help youth make their own economic decisions and escape poverty. Providing financial services whether a safe place to save or an appropriately structured loan for investment in an enterprise or education can promote entrepreneurship and asset building, and emphasize sustainable livelihoods in young people. The financial component is especially effective for youth when complemented with training in entrepreneurship and financial literacy, and mentorship opportunities."

Thoroughly expansiating the menace of cybercrime and its effects, the CAC cleric suggested as way out, "to address the challenge of low financial capabilities of youth and to equip youth with the confidence to make sound financial decisions, effectively manage financial services, and develop and work toward a tangible savings goal, policymakers should develop (a.) National financial-literacy strategies for youth, (b.) Entrepreneurship programmes that increase the financial empowerment of youth. (c) Governments and donors should support the development and implementation of such strategies implored whether Church based, school based, community based, technology based or otherwise."

Telling the youths that "there's money everywhere, anywhere you are, money flows there," Pastor Unction Timothy identified some businesses that the youths could venture into, such as, "Making and retailing throw pillows. Making and selling cookies. Start a cleaning company. Organize Teens Radio talk show. Graphic design-a laptop. Photography. Manicure and pedicure business- the only essential things needed for this type of business are nail technician supplies such as a nail file kit, nail polish, and nail cleanser. Production of natural skincare products; Skincare products made out of natural ingredients such as aloe vera, olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter, etc. are in demand among many people. Tailoring"

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