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Posts tagged ‘Ministry’

Stay Sharp, Pastor!


by Pearson Johnson

If you have been in ministry for a number of years since seminary, you know how easy it can be to get into a ministry routine and allow other things in your life to become your first love, whether it is a hobby, a recreational pursuit, or other amusement. We, as pastors, need help in staying sharp, setting priorities for continued growth in knowledge and ability in that which is our main calling–the ministry. Here are some tips for doing so:

1. Take a class. Perhaps every other year or once a year, enroll in a class at a nearby seminary or online that will push you to read, study, and interact with others. At DBTS we allow grads to audit a class and provide a discounted audit rate for non-grads. We are now offering a few remote classes and other schools offer good online courses. You may even want to pursue another degree if your circumstances permit it.

2. Form a reading group with other nearby pastors. Many pastors form a regional reading group, reading through a book together and meeting to discuss it weekly or monthly. This exercise provides mutual encouragement and edification.

3. Start a new series or class. Pastors, you can offer an elective Sunday School class on a particular topic, a Bible Institute level class, or small group study that will push you to read and study in a new area.

4. Submit book reviews or articles. Many blogs and journals will receive book reviews from pastors willing to invest the time in reading newer books and offering a critical review. Others accept submissions of articles. Set a goal to do one or two of these per year for your benefit and hopefully for the benefit of others as well.

5. Read biography and history. Reading biography and history will usually lead to a refreshing of your desire to re-engage in ministry growth. When you see how others poured their lives into people or how others erred in history, you will be all the more passionate about your ministry and careful with the truth.

6. Attend a conference. Ministry-specific conferences on preaching, counselling, or theological issues can be helpful in keeping us sharp. The large rally-type conferences are encouraging (and often expensive) and helpful to a point, but smaller, more interactive conferences and seminars can be most profitable for the purposes of staying sharp.

These suggestions are some ways I have sought to stay sharp in ministry–now over 15 years past my M.Div. Do you have other ways you have sought to stay sharp in ministry?

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Not Persuaded.


Jesus‘ brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, where your followers can see your miracles! You can’t become famous if you hide like this! If you can do such wonderful things, show yourself to the world!” — John 7:3-4

The pressure was on. Michelle was really being pushed to launch the new product in the spring and get a jump on the competition. Everything was ready–almost, but not quite. It was the “not quite” that caused Michelle to hold back and reexamine the data. By the time the product was ready to be launched in the fall, the product had required critical changes. In the end, Michelle’s ability to stand firm against outside pressures ensured the viability of the product and preserved the integrity of the company.

Jesus faced similar pressures in John 7. His brothers were pushing him to go to the Feast of Tabernacles early and show off his miracle-performing abilities. Like many Jews, these brothers were looking for someone to “wow” the crowds and eventually lead the people in a rebellion against the Romans. The Feast would have been an ideal platform for launching Jesus’ political career.

But Jesus could not be persuaded to become a crowd (or brother) pleaser. Jesus knew that his mission on earth was not to win fans, but to redeem people from their sin. Keeping his ultimate purpose in mind, Jesus chose to go to the festival, but in secret. In his wisdom, Jesus could not be persuaded to veer from his purpose, not even for one day of earthly glory. His choice to enter the festival quietly, instead of with a fanfare, led to a day of heated debates with his enemies and intense discussions with the crowd but no flashy miracles. By the end of the day, “many among the crowds at the Temple believed in him” (v. 31).

Regardless of the agenda others have, a leader needs to stand firm and keep her goal in focus. Leaders with integrity know that they cannot allow themselves to be persuaded to cave in to people-pleasing or glory-grabbing decisions. Pursuing integrity may not always be the popular or easy path, but it usually proves to be the wiser path.

Source: Leadership Weekly

Ministry Today.

How to Live With Your Mistakes.


sad woman
(http://www.stockfreeimages.com)
Last week I made a mistake. It was a serious mistake that couldn’t be covered up, but not quite so bad of a mistake that there wasn’t a fix. In other words, I couldn’t make it so people wouldn’t see. I had to admit my mistake.
I’ve been noticing an unfortunate trend in my response to stress—especially the stress of making mistakes (i.e., being human): I freak out. I anticipate disaster, devastation and doom (the “three Ds”). I’m working to change this and have progressed to the point that I can now see, like through binoculars, that God might be up to something.
My new perspective started about 12 years ago. I lost my temper at my family. Then, feeling truly awful, I crawled in the bath (the only place to be alone in a house with four small kids) and sobbed my heart out to God, asking forgiveness as the “three D” waves hit me from every side.
Then God spoke. He said simply, “Do you think I didn’t plan for that outburst?”
I am not a rager—in fact, in moments of true anger, I tend to say those pieces of truth people don’t like to hear so we keep to ourselves. But I felt so bad for hurting the people in my family that it took God’s intervention for me to realize He really is at work, even in our mistakes, errors and moments of extreme humanity.
When you are submitted to Him, bowed at the throne room of heaven, then even your mistakes are being used for His glory.
This means that instead of anticipating the “three Ds,” we can truly take our humanity to God and anticipate new opportunities, fresh perspectives and peace. Not to be too sci-fi, but this adds a fourth dimension—the spirit realm—which means our “three Ds” can become fourth-dimension (4-D) encounters.
Do the 3-D waves hit you from time to time? What do you do to see God’s perspective and anticipate 4-D opportunities?.
Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE/ SpiritLed Woman.
Kim Martinez is a regular contributor to Ministry Today magazine’s blog. She is a writer, speaker and ministry coach. You can hear more from her at deepimprints.com.

Do You Recognize Your True Role in the Church?.


Fence-Ed-Stetzer

Basketman/Free Digital Photos

In the first post of this series, I began a discussion on the importance of pastors establishing healthy boundaries in ministry.

As it’s an area in which I have personally struggled—and one in which I continue to grow—I’m passionate about sharing what I have learned in order to help others not make the same mistakes I did.

In the next four posts, I will share keys to establishing these boundaries. Think of them as four fence posts surrounding a healthy ministry.

The first “post” supporting a healthy ministry is to recognize your role in the church.

You, as the pastor, are not ultimately responsible for the church. While you do have some responsibility, only King Jesus bears the final responsibility.

When this boundary is ignored, the church ends up being built around the pastor, who then actually becomes part of the problem rather than the solution.

At my second church plant, we had grown to a congregation of about 125 after 18 months. While this might seem like a positive development, it became a bit of an Achilles heel for me. The attendance numbers became my driving force from week to week.

I would actually take time every Saturday to personally call all of our regular and occasional attendees and encourage them to be at church the next day. I was convinced that if I didn’t call everyone, the church would fall apart the next day. Because my identity was so wrapped up in our weekly attendance, if the church numbers collapsed the next day, my life, in effect, would collapse with it.

When pastors misunderstand their role like I did, they tend to put all their focus on some predetermined view of success rather than those things they are biblically called to, such as shepherding and equipping.

Thankfully, a combination of my wife and a pastor friend in another town lovingly pointed out to me I needed to make some changes. It resulted in my resignation. Well, sort of.

I actually got up one Sunday and “resigned.” (Yep, I used air quotes.) I told my congregation I was going to resign as the sole shepherd and caregiver of the church.

I apologized for not creating proper boundaries and explained I was restructuring. Using some very 1990s language (which wasn’t too terrible because it was the 1990s), I explained that I was going to move into a “rancher” role while appointing “shepherds” who worked there. It was a big step of growth, both for the church and myself.

Although moving to a decentralized ministry model was a good step, it was a hard step. In the next boundary “post,” we will examine the difficulty of creating healthy boundaries: The pastor has to be healthy enough to create the boundary.

Written by Ed Stetzer

Ed Stetzer is the president of LifeWay Research. This is the second of a four-part series called “Mystery Fenceposts.”

Karen Evans: An Open Letter to Pastors’ Wives.


 

Karen and Jimmy Evans
Karen and Jimmy Evans (Marriage Today)

Being the wife of a pastor for 40 years has had its share of challenges that thankfully we learned to navigate, especially early in our marriage.

We were 28 years young with two small children when Jimmy accepted the call to lead Trinity, which made for several very difficult years for our marriage and family. I know our struggles are not unique to ministry couples—far from it. So when Jimmy asked me to write for the July-August issue of Ministry Today, I knew I wanted to share some of my own experiences and story in an honest letter to pastors’ wives. (If you’re a pastor reading this, you’ll likely gain some real insight into your wife’s journey.)

What follows are some specific lessons—sometimes learned in hard ways—to encourage you that you are not, and never have been, alone.

Marriage and family are prime targets for Satan, especially pastors’ marriagesWhen we began MarriageToday, we were actually going though the toughest times of our lives and marriage. We began to recognize that marriage and family are the areas Satan attacks the most. If you’re a pastor’s wife, you need to grasp that Satan wants to destroy your family even more than the church.

Understanding how God sees me gives me the freedom to be myself. I knew I was not the typical “pastor’s wife.” I didn’t teach or have any musical abilities. Our church never put pressure on me to be anything more than Jimmy’s wife.

However, the first couple of years were very trying. Jimmy and I had no mentors or experience. We loved our church and the people, but the stress began bearing down on us personally. I was fighting feelings of not being the wife Jimmy needed to lead the church as well as my own insecurities. The greatest struggle for me was to not feel guilty about who I was as a person before we came to the church. I would beg God to change me and tell Him I would accept the gift to speak if He wanted to give it to me.

The year before Jimmy became senior pastor, I had begun reading the Word every day. I had made a commitment to God to know Him and Jesus for myself. I was growing in my relationship with God and His Word and realized I was gifted in serving. I loved discipling women to grow in Christ. I also had a love for prayer. I found that serving in different areas of ministry helped me feel accepted and take my mind off myself.

The real changes came when I began to see myself through the Word and not my fears and insecurities. The Lord was healing me by His Word, and it caused me to start to see value in myself. I began to deal with the guilt and see my worth as a child of God and to not feel unworthy if I loved being a wife and mother. I began to accept myself and not be afraid to just be me.

When the ministry comes before the marriage, something has to give. Being married to a pastor is even more of a reason to keep your marriage first. Because of his own fears, Jimmy began to disconnect from us emotionally and mentally, which caused me to withdraw, too. Ministry began to take its toll on our marriage. The constant stress of trying to raise young children was difficult. I knew in my heart that being honest about the stress was important. I supported Jimmy with all the church issues but couldn’t accept his behavior of checking out on us at home and leaving me feeling like a single parent. The resentment toward each other grew. I would seek counsel from elder friends, but even they didn’t seem to have answers.

After months of fighting, we began to realize that the ministry had come before our marriage. It’s funny, but during that time I never questioned if Jimmy was supposed to leave the church. He actually was the one who offered to quit to save our marriage. I knew quitting was not the answer, but protecting our marriage before the church was.

We began to talk about how to cut back on the demands. Jimmy encouraged me to see that just being his wife was a full-time job along with parenting and volunteering at church and other places. My own journey of healing and maturing came as we both learned how to lead the church and have a great marriage. After years of Jimmy driving himself to exhaustion and sickness, we now go over what is important and the timing of his schedule together. Above all else, keep your marriage first.

What one of us goes through affects both of us. Being the wife of the senior pastor had even more challenges. I love our church, and the people are amazing. But every church deals with struggles and pain and hurts from other people. Often, we would hear about people we loved leaving or talking bad about Jimmy and the elders. It hurt deeply to lose relationships; it seemed as if people cared more about the issues than the friendships.

Many times, Jimmy and I would talk about quitting the ministry altogether and moving where no one knew us and just be normal church people. But our hearts wouldn’t let us. We would pray and talk and pray some more and forgive again and again. We dealt with the hurts by talking about everything and not allowing each other to withhold forgiveness or harbor secrets.

Jimmy and I are accountable to each other, and he’s accountable to our elders. I have even personally called some of his close elder friends to tell them about situations that were affecting him personally. He and I are one, so what we go through individually affects us both. If you know situations at church are affecting your spouse, don’t be afraid to get help!

Kids, even pastor’s kids, must find their own faith. We also knew our children were in a fish bowl. So we talked to them about how even if we were working outside the church, we would still require them to live in a way that honored God. We never allowed the church to put pressure on them. But at the same time, we knew it was hard for them. As much as we wanted to protect them, they had to find their own faith and go through the many character-building situations of life.

Despite the potential hurt and betrayals of friends, relationships are still worth it. Being a pastor’s wife can be very lonely. I have always had close friends, but I can remember times of feeling very alone in the midst of it all. We give so much of ourselves to the church, and sometimes it’s easy to lose our identity. Most of us go through these common feelings, but as a pastor’s wife we’re afraid to let ourselves be honest with these issues.

I prayed early on that the Lord would bring me friends I could trust. Mature friends who stay with you through the hard times are invaluable. I don’t fear being vulnerable as much as I fear the rejection from those I love. I want to affirm all of you who have had betrayal and loss. It hurts more than most people in your church could ever understand. You know both or most sides of every story, and keeping your mouth shut is hard and lonely. But the Lord sees and knows, and it’s still worth developing relationships that go through the fire with you and are standing with you after the smoke clears.

Being honest about what you need is the first step to getting what you need. It’s important to let your husband know when you have a need to just vent and when you want him to give his counsel. Many times I’m dealing with issues of my own and just want to talk. I’m not necessarily asking Jimmy to fix it. Sometimes I just need him to be my friend. Let your husband know up front what you’re thinking. Be honest about your fears. It’s also just as important to let him talk and not give advice unless he asks for it. Jimmy and I share the same values, but there are times he doesn’t need my answers as much as my understanding.

The role I play is vital to our family—and ministry. Through the years, I’ve learned that serving Jimmy in our home is just as important as me serving in the church. I have tried to keep our home a place of peace and rest and order. Even though Jimmy will help me around the house, I always consider him and his schedule and how I can better serve him so he can come home and get away from the demands. We are empty nesters now, so it has been a give and take through all the different seasons of our marriage and children growing up. My friends at church know that Jimmy has been able to do what he does because of my support. I don’t struggle anymore with my destiny being like others, whether it’s at home or in ministry. I have no regrets about making our marriage first and our home a safe haven. The Lord has honored our hearts and given us so much to steward, but the most important thing has been to keep our relationship with Jesus first and then with each other.

I love being a pastor’s wife, and I love our church. Through all the years of trials and joys, I am so grateful for what the Lord has done in our lives and the church. Being part of the bigger body of Christ is an amazing thought, so to all of you who serve alongside your husbands, I say thank you. I appreciate and love the differences we all bring as women, wives and pastors. You are a beautiful part of not only leading but also being an example of helping and serving others. Well done, my friends!

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

KAREN EVANS

Karen Evans: An Open Letter to Pastors’ Wives.


F-Pastorswives

MARRIAGE CHAMPION: Each year, Karen Evans speaks to thousands through conferences and the TV show MarriageToday With Jimmy and Karen Evans

Being the wife of a pastor for 40 years has had its share of challenges that thankfully we learned to navigate, especially early in our marriage.

We were 28 years young with two small children when Jimmy accepted the call to lead Trinity, which made for several very difficult years for our marriage and family. I know our struggles are not unique to ministry couples—far from it. So when Jimmy asked me to write for the July-August issue of Ministry Today, I knew I wanted to share some of my own experiences and story in an honest letter to pastors’ wives. (If you’re a pastor reading this, you’ll likely gain some real insight into your wife’s journey.)

What follows are some specific lessons—sometimes learned in hard ways—to encourage you that you are not, and never have been, alone.

Marriage and family are prime targets for Satan, especially pastors’ marriagesWhen we began MarriageToday, we were actually going though the toughest times of our lives and marriage. We began to recognize that marriage and family are the areas Satan attacks the most. If you’re a pastor’s wife, you need to grasp that Satan wants to destroy your family even more than the church.

Understanding how God sees me gives me the freedom to be myself. I knew I was not the typical “pastor’s wife.” I didn’t teach or have any musical abilities. Our church never put pressure on me to be anything more than Jimmy’s wife.

However, the first couple of years were very trying. Jimmy and I had no mentors or experience. We loved our church and the people, but the stress began bearing down on us personally. I was fighting feelings of not being the wife Jimmy needed to lead the church as well as my own insecurities. The greatest struggle for me was to not feel guilty about who I was as a person before we came to the church. I would beg God to change me and tell Him I would accept the gift to speak if He wanted to give it to me.

The year before Jimmy became senior pastor, I had begun reading the Word every day. I had made a commitment to God to know Him and Jesus for myself. I was growing in my relationship with God and His Word and realized I was gifted in serving. I loved discipling women to grow in Christ. I also had a love for prayer. I found that serving in different areas of ministry helped me feel accepted and take my mind off myself.

The real changes came when I began to see myself through the Word and not my fears and insecurities. The Lord was healing me by His Word, and it caused me to start to see value in myself. I began to deal with the guilt and see my worth as a child of God and to not feel unworthy if I loved being a wife and mother. I began to accept myself and not be afraid to just be me.

When the ministry comes before the marriage, something has to give. Being married to a pastor is even more of a reason to keep your marriage first. Because of his own fears, Jimmy began to disconnect from us emotionally and mentally, which caused me to withdraw, too. Ministry began to take its toll on our marriage. The constant stress of trying to raise young children was difficult. I knew in my heart that being honest about the stress was important. I supported Jimmy with all the church issues but couldn’t accept his behavior of checking out on us at home and leaving me feeling like a single parent. The resentment toward each other grew. I would seek counsel from elder friends, but even they didn’t seem to have answers.

After months of fighting, we began to realize that the ministry had come before our marriage. It’s funny, but during that time I never questioned if Jimmy was supposed to leave the church. He actually was the one who offered to quit to save our marriage. I knew quitting was not the answer, but protecting our marriage before the church was.

We began to talk about how to cut back on the demands. Jimmy encouraged me to see that just being his wife was a full-time job along with parenting and volunteering at church and other places. My own journey of healing and maturing came as we both learned how to lead the church and have a great marriage. After years of Jimmy driving himself to exhaustion and sickness, we now go over what is important and the timing of his schedule together. Above all else, keep your marriage first.

What one of us goes through affects both of us. Being the wife of the senior pastor had even more challenges. I love our church, and the people are amazing. But every church deals with struggles and pain and hurts from other people. Often, we would hear about people we loved leaving or talking bad about Jimmy and the elders. It hurt deeply to lose relationships; it seemed as if people cared more about the issues than the friendships.

Many times, Jimmy and I would talk about quitting the ministry altogether and moving where no one knew us and just be normal church people. But our hearts wouldn’t let us. We would pray and talk and pray some more and forgive again and again. We dealt with the hurts by talking about everything and not allowing each other to withhold forgiveness or harbor secrets.

Jimmy and I are accountable to each other, and he’s accountable to our elders. I have even personally called some of his close elder friends to tell them about situations that were affecting him personally. He and I are one, so what we go through individually affects us both. If you know situations at church are affecting your spouse, don’t be afraid to get help!

Kids, even pastor’s kids, must find their own faith. We also knew our children were in a fish bowl. So we talked to them about how even if we were working outside the church, we would still require them to live in a way that honored God. We never allowed the church to put pressure on them. But at the same time, we knew it was hard for them. As much as we wanted to protect them, they had to find their own faith and go through the many character-building situations of life.

Despite the potential hurt and betrayals of friends, relationships are still worth it. Being a pastor’s wife can be very lonely. I have always had close friends, but I can remember times of feeling very alone in the midst of it all. We give so much of ourselves to the church, and sometimes it’s easy to lose our identity. Most of us go through these common feelings, but as a pastor’s wife we’re afraid to let ourselves be honest with these issues.

I prayed early on that the Lord would bring me friends I could trust. Mature friends who stay with you through the hard times are invaluable. I don’t fear being vulnerable as much as I fear the rejection from those I love. I want to affirm all of you who have had betrayal and loss. It hurts more than most people in your church could ever understand. You know both or most sides of every story, and keeping your mouth shut is hard and lonely. But the Lord sees and knows, and it’s still worth developing relationships that go through the fire with you and are standing with you after the smoke clears.

Being honest about what you need is the first step to getting what you need. It’s important to let your husband know when you have a need to just vent and when you want him to give his counsel. Many times I’m dealing with issues of my own and just want to talk. I’m not necessarily asking Jimmy to fix it. Sometimes I just need him to be my friend. Let your husband know up front what you’re thinking. Be honest about your fears. It’s also just as important to let him talk and not give advice unless he asks for it. Jimmy and I share the same values, but there are times he doesn’t need my answers as much as my understanding.

The role I play is vital to our family—and ministry. Through the years, I’ve learned that serving Jimmy in our home is just as important as me serving in the church. I have tried to keep our home a place of peace and rest and order. Even though Jimmy will help me around the house, I always consider him and his schedule and how I can better serve him so he can come home and get away from the demands. We are empty nesters now, so it has been a give and take through all the different seasons of our marriage and children growing up. My friends at church know that Jimmy has been able to do what he does because of my support. I don’t struggle anymore with my destiny being like others, whether it’s at home or in ministry. I have no regrets about making our marriage first and our home a safe haven. The Lord has honored our hearts and given us so much to steward, but the most important thing has been to keep our relationship with Jesus first and then with each other.

I love being a pastor’s wife, and I love our church. Through all the years of trials and joys, I am so grateful for what the Lord has done in our lives and the church. Being part of the bigger body of Christ is an amazing thought, so to all of you who serve alongside your husbands, I say thank you. I appreciate and love the differences we all bring as women, wives and pastors. You are a beautiful part of not only leading but also being an example of helping and serving others. Well done, my friends!

Written by Karen Evans


Karen Evans is co-founder of  the international ministry MarriageToday with her husband Jimmy Evans. She and Jimmy have been married for 40 years and have two adult children. 

The Banana Invasion By Aliyu Modibbo Umar.


By Aliyu Modibbo Umar

In the beginning, they imported apples. We bought them because we don’t grow apples.  Then they started to import grapes, plums, and all kind of exotic fruits. We purchased them because we don’t cultivate them. Now, they are importing bananas. We are buying them by the dozen even though we cultivate bananas in abundance.

Before I go any further with this discussion, permit me to put a disclaimer:  I am not a banana farmer. I was however privileged to be in the Federal Minister of Commerce and Industry in those days. In this transformation era the name of the Ministry has changed to Trade and Investment. I have no objection to the trade nomenclature, but investment is not exactly industry in my estimation. Please pardon me if I am beginning to sound like one of those “yesterday’s men” courtesy of Reuben Abati. To those who may entertain the notion that I am breaching protocols, by not channeling my observations to the relevant authorities but instead using a public forum like this one as if I am “an accidental public servant,” I wish to state that, my long sojourn in the public service precludes me from claiming to be an “accidental public servant”. About a year ago I drew the attention of my friend, Segun Aganga, the Minister of Trade and Investment on this matter.  Since the problem has persisted, I found it absolutely necessary to bring this matter to the public domain, so that we can see the clear and present danger the importation of bananas may pose to the socio economic well being of our dear country, Nigeria.

Now, back to our discourse. Like most of you out there, I began to notice and even purchased beautifully formed and succulent bananas in Abuja two years ago. The banana is long, with a perfect tan, that if it were not a banana, you will swear that it is using one of those expensive suntan lotions. The first clue that gives them away that they are not our homegrown banana is the label pasted on their side. One day before making a purchase, I curiously asked my banana vendor, “ From where do you get this banana?” The girl balanced the banana tray on her head and retorted, “ Me self, I no know oo. Na sell I dey sell am.” Now that short response got me more curious, because, I know as a fact that Nigeria is a major banana producer in the West Africa Sub Region.

About two years ago, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reported that there is an influx of imported bananas in the country. In the course of their investigation, NAN found out that the banana is imported from Cameroon and Togo. The NAN investigation reveals that the foreign bananas flooding the markets of Abuja, Kogi, Niger, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Plateau States were distributed from a warehouse located at the Marrarba Orange Market, which is on the outskirts of Abuja.

According to the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Bananas are grown in nearly 130 countries. In Africa, Uganda is the largest producer, followed by Rwanda, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon. If Nigeria is among the top five producers of bananas in Africa, then what business do we have of allowing the importation of bananas to the detriment of the teeming banana farmers across the country? I posit that there is negligence on the side of authorities responsible for safeguarding our markets from all kinds of dumping of commodities. We must be extra vigilant in matters of this nature.

While serving as Minister of Commerce and Industry, I recalled how myself, and officials of the ministry, put up a vicious fight to stop the importation of tomato paste from Ghana. Our position based on our mandate then was to make sure we safeguard the Nigerian market for Nigerians first. It is not my intention to place the blame of this kind of lapses on the Ministry, but to buttress the point that the ministry must constantly take inventory of any anomaly in the market place and quickly intervene before the situation gets out of control. I recalled before and during my tenure how the trend of allowing importation of one hundred percent fruit juice was halted to give way to at least the importation only of concentrates while packaging and other processes are done within our local industry. At best , veritable employment are created through such actions.

The consumer too should be wary of buying without proper scrutiny of objects for consumption. Particularly if they are agricultural products. These days a lot of genetic crop engineering is practiced to grow the perfect looking banana, mango, tomato, cucumber and many other agricultural commodities. The effects of the genetic engineering of crops on the human body are still being discovered. Perhaps, that partly explains the sudden presence of diseases hither to unknown in this part of the world.

My angst on this matter is based on the cycle of hopelessness we are in. As a people we are taking trade with a nonchalant attitude. It is with this set of mind set we lost out on cotton and textiles. I remember, how in the early 1980’s, some of the Kano textile merchants began to outsource the production of Ankara to China, because it is cheaper. Before you know it, the market has been flooded with low price fabric consequently running our indigenous textile companies out of business.

As indicated earlier in this piece, the onus of responsibility for safeguarding our markets, and protecting our farmers as well as the manufacturing sector is for both the Government and the entire citizenry to be on the alert of goods and services being dumped on us even though we are quite capable of satisfying the consumer demands of such products and services. If we continue with our lackadaisical attitude, we will wake up one day and find our supermarkets stocked up with packets of Egusi, Ogbonno and Kuka all imported from China.

Dr. Aliyu Modibbo Umar was at one time Minister of Commerce and Industry, and also former Minister of the FCT

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

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