Nigeria’s pastors ‘as rich as oil barons’

Nigeria’s pastors run multi-million dollar businesses which rival that of oil tycoons, a Nigerian blogger who has researched the issue has told the BBC.

Mfonobong Nsehe, who blogs for Forbes business magazine, says pastors own businesses from hotels to fast-food chains.

“Preaching is big business. It’s almost as profitable as the oil business,” he said.

The joint wealth of five pastors was at least $200m (£121m), he said.

Mr Nsehe said the richest of them, Bishop David Oyedepo of the Living Faith World Outreach Ministry, was worth about $150m.

Bishop Oyedepo owned a publishing company, university, an elite private school, four jets and homes in London and the United States, according to Mr Nsehe.
‘Private jets’

The Nigerian blogger said Bishop Oyedepo was followed on the rich list by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of the Believers’ Loveworld Ministries. He was worth between $30 and $50m.
“Oyakhilome’s diversified interests include newspapers, magazines, a local television station, a record label, satellite TV, hotels and extensive real estate,” Mr Nsehe said.

He said three of the other richest pastors were:

* Temitope Joshua Matthew of the Synagogue Church Of All Nations (worth between $10m and $15m);
* Matthew Ashimolowo of Kingsway International Christian Centre (worth between $6 million and $10 million) and
* Chris Okotie of the Household of God Church (worth between $3 million and $10 million).

Mr Nsehe said representatives of all the clergymen, except Pastor Ashimolowo, confirmed ownership of the assets he had listed on his blog.

“These pastors are flamboyant. You see them with private jets and expensive cars. This extravagance sends out the wrong message to their followers,” he told the BBC’s Network Africa programme.

He said the pastors acquired their wealth from various sources, including their congregations.

“We have Nigerians who are desperate, looking for solutions to their problems. They go to church for salvation, redemption and healing and pastors sometimes take advantage of them,” Mr Nsehe said.
Source: BBC News


  • On behalf of Prophet T.B. Joshua and The SCOAN:

    We have been informed of the many recent articles on the internet stating that Prophet T.B. Joshua is one of Nigeria’s richest pastors. We have a few words to say on the issue.

    First, we do not understand how those involved came to their conclusions. There are many who are wealthy in Nigeria and around the world and there is nothing at all wrong with having money. Money is a gift and the richest have that blessing. But we are not among them.

    Since the inception of this ministry we have given out all we received from God’s generous hands. We have made it our daily habit to give to those in need – the widows, widowers, physically challenged, little people, fatherless and rejected in society. All of this can be seen on Emmanuel TV – a station established to change lives, change nations and change the world by examples of how to spend more on others and less on ourselves.

    We therefore cannot be categorized among the wealthiest in Nigeria because what money we receive is not accumulated but rather given out to those who need it most. Apart from money, assets that classify one among the wealthiest are not in our possession. For example, houses around the world or private jets. It is true, we do not own a private jet – not that there is anything wrong with owning one. They are a blessing and can be used to further the Gospel. But we do not own one.

    In the light of these truths, we ask that the articles stating us among the wealthiest pastors in Nigeria be retracted, please. We are simply not among.

    There is not enough to keep for tomorrow. As it comes, we give it for the needy.

    Please take your time to do your investigation on the facts we have given to you. What you publish is true, if we keep the money or save the money. The money is given to the needy.

    We are definitely not among the wealthiest in Nigeria. Take note, we are not against the wealthy or the richest or having private jets, assets or houses all over the world. We are definitely not among because there is not enough to keep.

    Please put your record right for posterity and for the good name of your paper.

    The SCOAN

  • No point crying out. True pastors live by example. If they preach divine health, they should live it. If they teach prosperity, they should be the first to prosper and well above their hearers,possibly. This way the word of God in their mouth is valued the most…

  • The deceptiveness in Nigeria used to con people out of their money and other resources, which some people perfected to become what is known as 419 started in the religious gathering with a smooth talker.

  • if you are preaching prosperity, your congregration should see it in you….. go read your bible well…Go do something else instead of doing this… Money is been made while you waste your time here….. and please dont forget Matthew 7:7, also GIVERS NEVER LACK

  • Nothing wrong with prosperity of “Men of God” but I honestly think that they should give back a little more to the society whatever wealth God has blessed them with.

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