Following allegation that the general overseer of Citadel Global Community Church formerly known as Latter Rain Assembly is swimming in a debt of 9 billion naira which he is allegedly owing a bank, Nigerians on social media have formed opinions in respect of the development.
Speaking on the latest development, Dayo Williams, a journalist with a media outfit in Abuja insisted that there is nothing wrong for the cleric to obtain a loan to build his church. However, the Abuja based journalist is concerned about the manner in which Bakare was granted the loan.
He submitted that:
"Now, The Citadel is not just a church; it has a big Event Centre and shops that will be leased or rented out to generate money for the owner. This is according to the pastor. I am yet to visit the facility.
"According to the pastor, he has offset the loans he took from two of the banks and he is currently paying back what he got from the remaining three banks who have graciously restructured the loan payment for him, at least for the next five years.
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"So far, he has not defaulted in his loan obligation repayment.
"The loan is no toxic fund yet. The borrowers - the banks- are not complaining either. So, what is the fuss about? My own concern in the whole saga is why banks will fork out a humongous amount of loan to an individual without a solid collateral. I find this unethical and anti- good corporate governance.
"Would the banks have given out the same loan to an ordinary Nigerian without a solid and commensurate collateral? Pastor Bakare acknowledged that the banks only considered his name and the parcel of land upon which the church was erected as the collateral before the loan was approved.
"I strongly feel commentators should concern themselves with how the loan was approved by the banks without commensurate collateral rather than why the man borrowed to build a church, which is not entirely the whole picture."
In his reaction, a social media user identified as Kay Lord wrote:
"Even if the church borrowed from the bank to build, so what? Once it is not proceed of illegal money, thats it. Sometimes ago, that was how it was also rumoured that he was not paying taxes. He challenged those peddling that rumour and was ready to put out his tax papers from the 80s when he started working as a Lawyer till present.
"I am sure by Sunday, in his usual manner and characteristic he would address this Wema bank debt issue...with benefit of hindsight, believe me you can't have the last say on Pastor Bakare...to a large extent, the way he presides over his church, lives his life, and take care of his personal and business life is deliberate. He does not live any room for conjectures...
"Am I saying he's a saint? Never! He's the one I heard this quote from years ago; "the best of men are still men even at their very best." This is to show you he does not even see himself as a saint or infallible. Are you saying he does not owe Wema bank? No! Possibly in his personal dealings with the bank as a business man. That's another part of him he often talks about that some might not know. But, that he borrowed from Wema Bank on account of the church building? I don't think that's true."
Uncertainty over WEMA Bank, Pastor Tunde Bakare alleged face-Off over N9bn loan used to build church
Meanwhile, it is not yet clear if the news making the rounds in many quarters is anything to go by about the alleged N9 billion loan given by WEMA bank to Citadel Global Community Church owned by Pastor Tunde Bakare in Oregun. Lagos.
According to multiple accounts, WEMA Bank is allegedly making frantic efforts to recover the loan given to the fiery clergyman to use to build the 5,000 seater auditorium, annexes, atrium, library, food court, amongst other things.
Legit.ng cannot independently verify the news but sources say the bank has initiated moves to get the loan repaid after the exit of its former Managing Director, Segun Olekutoyi who is said to be a close friend of Tunde Bakare.