Writing by Oblong Nnadi
Acquiring private jet is different from acquiring a car. When you buy a car, you can either drive it yourself or hire an experienced driver that doesn't cost you much, you can either maintain it at a company mechanic or private mechanic, you can purchase direct insurance or third party insurance, and finally you park your private car in your compound or car parks.
This is not the same with a Jet. Purchasing a jet is like opening a spending account, you need an expert and certified pilot to fly the jet. Pilots are not paid peanuts. Nigerian owners of private jets go for foreign pilots. To pay pilots in dollars costs the church millions of naira a year. The jet must be certified air worthy meaning regular maintenance by the company that produces the jet (cost tens of thousands dollars or millions of naira to keep jets air worthy). You need to pay yearly insurance for the jet which costs thousands of dollars yearly. Private jet doesn't land inside your compound, you pay airports landing fees which could cost millions of dollars depending on how many airports the jet flies to. You cannot park a private jet in your compound, you can only park at an airport, this means you have to spend millions a year for parking rights at the airports. Jets use special kind of fuel, meaning you have to pay thousands of dollars or millions of naira a year for fueling of the jet fuel.
So for people of this church and other churches thanking God that their pastors acquire unending expenses, is this how you want your tithes, offerings and donations spent? How about using them to build health centers that offer church members free and quality health care? How about building and equipping schools that church members wouldn't pay school fees? How about building factories that church members can work and earn a living while the church makes income? Think about it.
A small family church of nearly 100 members in Canada have sponsored over 70 African children from kindergarten to university in the last 15 years. They never met these children and have no relationship with them. I attended a program where some of these sponsored Africans from different countries came to meet and thank these foreign strangers who from their hard earned money raise them from nothing to something. This is what the work of God looks like. Acquiring a private jet is not God's favor, it is a venture that costs you a fortune. Blessings of God doesn't put you under pressure. If you claim that the pastor used his own money, what was his business or job before becoming a pastor. If you claim that the jet was donated to him, will the giver also pay all the yearly expenses attached to having a jet.
As the head of the sovereign state as well as the religious leader of 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide, and with the rate he makes international travels, the Pope should have fleets of supersonic jets. No! the Pope don't have jets because of cost of operation and maintenance. The state of Vatican pays Alitalia to convey the Pope wherever he is going on a public chartered flight including for the officials traveling with him. The journalists and other non officials traveling with him pay for their tickets to the Alitalia. The country he visits return him back to Vatican with their own plane.
The Pope is not just a religious leader, he is also the sovereign leader and head of state of the sovereign state of Vatican. He travels an average of 10 countries a year. This is why the Charitas is the world's biggest religious humanitarian organization helping billions of people around the world. The money that could have been spent on maintaining Pope's jets are given to Chritas and other Catholics humanitarian organizations around the world providing healthcare, education, skill acquisitions, humanitarian assistance and financial assistance to billions of poor people around the world. This is what Christ will do if He is to be living in our time. He is the messiah and Lord of all things, yet he borrowed a boat to preach on, he borrowed bread and fish to feed the people, he borrowed a donkey to ride on to Jerusalem and after his death a rich man donated his own grave because Jesus did not have a grave on his name. Think about it.
The archbishop of Canterbury who is the head of all Anglicans travels for the work of God on a public flight, the heads of Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Orthodox churches worldwide travel on public flights for the work of God, the chief Jewish rabbi travels on public flight for the work of God, the patriarch of Russia travels on public flight, the grand imam of Egypt travels on public flights to religious functions. These are internationally recognized religious leaders with millions of followers around the world. But local pastors of churches in Nigeria want to own private jets to do the work of God and these pastors minister in a country with the most poorest people on earth. What's really wrong with Nigerians? Do you know?NaijaBlog.ng