Deeper Life, co-builder of Lagos mega city
CSR is the way organisations support government’s efforts at improving the lives of people and communities. Corporate bodies have adopted this measure to engage the public.
Churches are in the forefront of CSR, even though majority are not reported for reasons of Biblical injunction not to publicise charity works.
A recent visit to the new Deeper Life Bible Church’s edifice at Gbagada, Lagos, has proven the intention of the General Superintendent of the Church, Pastor William Folorunsho Kumuyi, who believes that humans do not only need spiritual food, but also physical empowerment to go about their daily businesses.
The church did not just concentrate on putting up a structure at the site that had long been known as the headquarters of the ministry, it also ensured that people in the area benefit.
It did not limit its goal to just citing a place of worship but also providing comfort for residents in the area. This has resulted in the massive construction of roads, traffic lights and car parks to alleviate the sufferings of the community, especially when the church holds special services.
Just recently, during the commissioning of a link bridge and a 600-capacity modern car park constructed by the church, Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, commended the church for not selfishly concentrating on church matters alone, but also considering the plight of the people, saying it would increase commercial activities in the area.
Ambode had stated, “What Deeper Life Church has done is epochal and keys into the overall drive of the state government under my leadership towards the renewal of infrastructure projects all over Lagos in line with the megacity ambition of the state.
It is my considered view that if all other religious groups and private sector organisations in the state provide similar support to the government, a lot will be achieved and in a very short time in improving the quality of infrastructure in our Lagos.”
The governor also gave kudos to the church for not only aiming at spiritual enhancement of its members, but also ensuring quality life of all irrespective of religious inclinations.
He, therefore, admitted that the church is a co-builder of the new Lagos and called on other religious bodies and private operators to emulate the attitude of the church.
There is no doubt that the structure, with the adjourning infrastructure, would tremendously bring about commercial benefits to the people in the area. In actual fact, it would ensure orderliness of the different traders that would emerge.
Residents of the community also commended the efforts of the church, particularly as security is now ensured in the area. Bose Ogundepo of Brown Street said, “The road construction is good; the road is better now.
Vehicles could not ply on this road before; some vehicles do breakdown here causing gridlock. We couldn’t enjoy our stay on this street, but with this intervention, we can easily walk into our houses without feeling the pains of having to miss our steps due to the gullies in the middle of the roads.”
For an excited food seller, Ogechi Boff, “We are happy with the road construction because we have been waiting for this for a long time. But we hope it would be concluded before the rains start. We experience horrible situation before the road construction; the road was rough; vehicles couldn’t ply it.
Even when vehicles passed, it seems as if they would tumble due to the potholes on the road. Our customers complained a lot because of the roughness of the road. The ones with vehicles stopped coming, but now they have started coming to patronise us once again.”
Mrs. Balikis Ariyo, a frozen food trader on Aderemi Akeju Street, said, “We faced a lot of difficulties. There used to be traffic congestion here; we couldn’t sell our goods because customers were not able to come through to patronise us.
Our customers came from outside this area; so they found it difficult to ply this road. Even the vehicles that bring the goods for us from the market would get stocked here at times. We had to get boys to push the vehicles. Now that the road has been constructed, we now make sales unlike before.”
A motorcyclist, Adekunle Adegidan, enthused, “Sometimes, we collide with one another as a result of looking for a better part of the road to pass. But since they started the road construction, we are able to ply comfortably.
So, I believe when it is finished, we will enjoy it better. Most times when we have passengers coming to this part, we don’t carry them or we tell them we will drop them at the other side and then would trek. But now, we bring passengers here without any complaint.
We appreciate the brain behind this project and pray God to enrich their pocket.”
Clearly, the example of Deeper Life Church is one organisations operating in Nigeria are encouraged to emulate so as to lifting some burden off government’s shoulders, as it strives to make other areas better for the citizens.
Kumuyi was also quoted as saying, “The Lagos State Government under Governor Ambode has been tirelessly working towards renewing the megacity of Lagos and I must say that this has immensely endeared him to the teeming population.
What we have done is only a token of support in the drive to ensure there is a collective contribution towards the collective aspiration of the people of this great state for a city of comfort that we all will be proud of.”
He added that the church still had a number of other projects, which were either under construction or at planning stages geared towards improving the quality of life of the people in support of the urban renewal programme of the state government. He said collective contribution towards the collective aspiration of the people should be uppermost, saying it was what every religious leader should be proud of.
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