Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria; & Mama Nigeria, Mrs Angela Eberechukwu Ndukuba;
Your Grace, The Most Revd Dr. Ali Buba Lamido- Dean, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion);
Your Excellency, The Executive Governor of Lagos State: Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwoolu;
Our highly revered Church Fathers: Archbishops and Bishops;
The Chancellor, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)
The Registrar, Church of Nigeria;
The Prolocutor, House of Clergy;
The Chairman, House of Laity;
Our Eminent Royal Fathers, here present;
Distinguished Delegates of The Standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion);
Distinguished Ladies & Gentlemen;
It is a great pleasure for us, and indeed, a honour of historical significance, to warmly welcome, each and everyone of us, in the name of God, the blessed Trinity; and on behalf of the good people of Lagos Diocese to this august gathering of Church Leaders.
We welcome specially our dear Primate and Mama Nigeria; the Dean of our National Church, our eminent Church fathers and indeed, all delegates, to the Standing Committee of The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion); holding here in the historic City of Lagos – Africa’s leading economic hub and the nation’s Commercial Capital;
Nigeria’s Centre of Excellence, State of Aquatic Splendour, Microcosm of Nigeria, a city largely famous for its night life and arguably the most vibrant on the continent!.
Ordinarily, and in consonance with historical records, the See of Lagos occupies a special place in history, being the oldest in the Church of Nigeria; and by that token, the Mother of all Dioceses and first among equals, in the National Church.
Expectedly too, the Diocese of Lagos, had robustly benefitted from the cumulative, aggressive,evangelistic efforts of the various Church Fathers that had nurtured it since its creation on 10th of December, 1919, from its precursor, the Anglican Diocese of West Equatorial Africa, with Bishop F. Melville Jones, who was its first incumbent Bishop; as well as his immediate successor in office, The Most Revd. Leslie Gordon Vining.
Third in the line of succeeding Bishops was The Rt. Revd. Adelakun Williamson Howells, followed in further quick succession by The Rt. Revd. Seth Irunsewe Kale; The Rt. Rev’d Festus Oluwole Segun; and His Grace, The Most Rev’d Dr. Joseph Abiodun Adetiloye. From 2000 to 2018, the Diocese of Lagos enjoyed yet another fresh turn of monumental advancement under the leadership of the 7th Bishop; The Most Revd Dr. Ephraim Adebola Ademowo, before passing the baton to us on Monday, 30th July, 2018; as the incumbent of the Diocese and the 8th in succession.
God moves in mysterious ways, says William Cowper, His wonders to perform. His purposes will ripen fast, unfolding every hour. To the glory of God, we are strongly propelled by our evergreen mantra of a divinely – ordered 5-Fold Mandate namelyPRIESTLY, PASTORAL, PROPHETIC, PRAYER and PRAISE Ministries; and with the huge cooperation and prayerful support of our people, our Divine Mandate Partners and million others, across the globe who shared our great vision, we launched out into the Deep.
We return all thanks to our covenant-keeping God, for the imperishable legacies of our past heroes, but thank Him, the more, for raising the bar in these very few years of our incumbency!
We are particularly overwhelmed and totally spell-bound by the gigantic miracles of our Centenary City project- an emerging phenomenal experience of a lifetime, a multi mega project of unimaginable magnitude that is beginning to unfold.
The Centenary City project is located on a 1,500-plot parcel of land, behind the PAN Atlantic University, Ibeju, Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lagos; and envisioned to parade several spiritual, sporting, Christian Resource, Housing and Health facilities, a Rehabilitation Centre, Convention Ground, Garden of Gethsemane, Retreat Centre, Empowerment and Youth Development Centre, Games Village and Sporting Centre, Women Empowerment
Centre, Relaxation Resorts, Amusement Park, Low Income Housing Estate and many more.
After only two years of the purchase of the land, the following have been completed :
City Gate and Sentry Post
General Danjuma Housing Estate of 42 apartment each and by December we would have completed 3 units of 42 apartments each.
Paving works and drainage of the 1.2km Dual Carriageway leading to the Gethsemane Garden (Primate Ndukuba’s Way)
Piling works for the Chapel at the Gethsemane Garden
Piling works for two units of Guest Houses at the Gethsemane Garden
Pilling work for 5 units of 42 apartment each
The Dual carriage access road leading from Idera Housing Scheme Junction to the Centenary City Gate is currently being constructed with the assistance of the Lagos State Governor; Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu (An eminent Anglican).
As part of our Completion Strategic Plan, we have directed that, henceforth, and beginning with our 2022 Synod, the Official Opening Session of every Diocesan Synod, will now hold at the Centenary City. Also, as part of the “Specials” in our Welcome Package, we invited our Primate and Mama Nigeria on a guided visit to the CentenaryCity. In consonance with Christ’s directive that we should serve as His witnesses unto the uttermost parts of the earth, as a Diocese we have remained aggressively committed to fulfilling the Commission, as we
take the gospel round even to the grassroots. To the glory of God, in less than three years of our translation to the See of Lagos, we have been able to plant over twenty-four Churches with all of them having their places of worship. We are not relenting, that is why we have a Diocesan Directorate that has been saddled solely with this
responsibility, that is designed to cut across all the Archdeaconries in the Diocese.
However, we have our own challenges, especially in securing land for some of our Churches. We sometimes have to part with as much as N100 million to secure a plot of land for some new Churches. To the glory of God, we have been able to achieve the underlisted:
LAGOON RADIO & TV
LagoonRadio (www.LagoonRadio.ng), an online gospel radio station was commissioned on the 24th of January, 2019. The Radio is daily managed by a dedicated team of young Anglicans who run interactive and educative radio shows across genre, and has a listenership of over 7,000 unique listeners every month from all over the world.
Specialist Hospital for the Elderly
To the glory of God, we witnessed the formal handing over, to the Diocese of Lagos, of the Cathedral Circle Rock Apartments for the Elderly. It has since been converted into a Specialist Hospital for the Elderly in consonance with the Pastoral requirement of our 5-fold Divine Mandate.
As we also all know, Education remains a veritable tool for aggressive Mission and evangelism, in a world of uncertainties and valuedistortions. Apart from consolidating on the impressive gains of our immediate predecessors, at the Archbishop Abiodun Adetiloye Comprehensive College, Igbooye-Epe, we also acquired Delight International Schools, Apapa (comprising Crèche, Nursery, Primary, Junior & Senior Secondary levels, in its composite bundle); as well as the planned twin campuses of the Centenary City College, Ayeteju and Ibeju-Lekki, both in the Epe/Lekki axis of the Diocese and State.
As a means to further broaden the latitude of accessibility of our members, we directed that the school fees be considerably slashed for all and sundry while students of Anglican descent or origin will pay only 50% of the Tuition fees, believing that, many of our Children will benefit directly from these efforts aimed at complementing
existing efforts in these directions.
Further to this, we also instituted a One-Million-Naira-for-First Class-Graduates Programme, through which we reward young Anglicans, who distinguish themselves in their various academic programmes by graduating with a First Class! Such emerging beneficiaries are given a Million Naira to proceed to the next level anywhere in the world, for even higher degrees.
We were delightfully surprised to see how rich our future human capital, as six of our Youths have benefitted from this gesture (and we are still counting), with several of our young people competing to outdo one another; the future of the Anglican Church is indeed promisingly bright. And also, within these few years, we have been able to empower over 70 youths with a minimum of #500,000 each to the glory of God.
The Diocese of Lagos as a mother to all other Dioceses in the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has not been slack in rendering assistance to other Dioceses, most especially Dioceses that are in economically unstable areas. Two years ago, during the Centenary celebration, we facilitated the construction of boreholes to twenty Dioceses, and after that, with the help of God, we also assisted over sixty Dioceses during the heat of the Covid-19 pandemic. We are paying the stipends of Priests in three Dioceses as well as host Dioceses for their Clergy Retreats. These are only a few among the many good things God has and will continue to enable the Diocese to do in appreciation of God’s faithfulness.
Your Grace, the Primate-of-all-Nigeria and Mama Nigeria; Our Church Fathers, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen; I have gone to these great lengths, in the course of welcoming you, to briefly catalogue the rather huge manifestations of our very benevolent God to us as a Leader and to the people of our Diocese, as a
people, in an attempt to humbly request you to join us in celebrating the goodness of our God to us as a people and the Anglican Communion, in Nigeria as a blessed Church. Indeed, we feel more encouraged to do even more, with your continuing prayers for us, our Divine Mandate Partners and other well-meaning supporters – men and women of goodwill, who have continually been up and doing in ensuring that the flame of the Mandate keeps burning brightly.
STANDING COMMITTEE THEME:
We thank God for the inspiration of this theme-Abiding in Christ: God’s Panacea in An Unstable World and it is very relevant. Many people have a regimented relationship with God. They disconnect from Him when they feel they can do it and run after Him when the chips are down. However, we are called upon to abide in Him to become stable in an world.
Permit me to single out for prayers, the Grand Patron of our Centenary Celebrations, His Excellency, Gen. Theophilus Y. Danjuma, who at the commencement of the programme and formal launch of the Centenary Celebration projects in 2019, demonstrated exemplary leadership and pious commitment to God’s work, by his
most generous pledge of N5 billion towards the building of Lowincome Housing Estate at the Centenary City; at an annual rate of N1 billion. To the glory of God, he has been faithfully and committedly redeeming the pledge and has remitted the sum of #2 billion for the two years spent so far!
Our very huge debts of gratitude must also, most fittingly, go to the Primate of our Church; The Most Rev’d Henry Ndukuba for placing such big trust in us, and for the entire Church of Nigeria, for granting our Diocese, the privilege of hosting the Standing Committee Meeting, again in Lagos, which we hosted over a decade ago.
We appreciate sincerely our own dear Governor and dearly beloved parishioner, His Excellency, The Executive Governor of Lagos State: Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwoolu who is also the Adviser to the Diocesan on Mission, for his support and commitment to the work of God in our Diocese. We appreciate you for the transformation going
on in our State and the peace we are enjoying.
All Archbishop of Provinces are well appreciated for the advice and counsel in the course of our preparation. We will not forget our brother Bishops from all Dioceses far and near for the inputs at one point or the other. We will remain eternally grateful to you all. We appreciate the support of our Fathers in the Province of Lagos, starting with the Most Rev. Dr. Michael Fape.
We also sincerely appreciate the Committee members of several projects and programmes for being up and doing even when we are not there to supervise them. They have continued to be sincere in it knowing that the Lord is the rewarder of them that serve Him.
And now to my amiable consort, Prof. Mrs. Motunrayo Olumakaiye, who believed undoubtedly in our ministry and has continued to throw her weight behind me always, even in prayers – I must sincerely acknowledge your sacrifice of love; and indeed, because you have made the journey a memorable and worthwhile one.
As we very warmly welcome you all to Lagos, the Centre Of Excellence and Smart City of Aquatic Splendour; and to the Church of Nigeria Standing Committee Meeting, we also want to very sincerely implore you to give utmost priority to the issue of Security; given the rather fragile nature of the nation’s security conditions. We appeal to you, to kindly ensure that you know where you are going, at every opportunity, if you must go out of this venue, and within this place, kindly use your tag always. The protective hand of God, will be upon us all, now, throughout this programme and beyond. Amen.
Without any iota of doubt, I want to assure you, by the grace of God, of the readiness of the good people of Lagos, to thoroughly “spoil” you with a superlative form of rich hospitality, boundless love, incomparable warmth and loving affection that will make you know that indeed there is a Home Away from Home in Lagos!
Thank you most sincerely, Wishing you all Lagoon of Blessings!