By Olasunkanmi Akoni
LAGOS—LAGOS State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has charged corporate bodies in the state to urgently support the effort of the government by engaging in Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR, to develop grassroots communities in the state.
Speaking at the Inaugural CSR Lagos Business Luncheon on Matching 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility Budgets to the Needs of Lagos State Communities, held in Lagos, yesterday, Ambode said the population of Lagos had been increasing on daily basis, hence the need for the private sector to support the efforts of the government through CSR.
“The challenge has increased over the years because of recession in the economy which has stretched the resources of the government to cater for the weak and the old,” he said, adding that the people at the grassroots had risen to the challenges of their environment by engaging in self-help projects.
Ambode, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Tunji Bello said the state had now reached a time when non-state actors must play more role in supporting the self-help projects and programmes of the communities.
“The 24 million people who inhabit Lagos State today, including the corporate players must see Lagos as one big family where the rich help the poor and where each is his brother’s keeper,” he said.
The governor said he looked forward to serious partnership between the private sector and the government in the next 24 months in the areas of needs assessment of the communities which cut across drainage rehabilitations, roads, electricity, pipe borne water, among others.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Communities and Communications, Kehinde Bamigbetan said, right from the onset, Governor Ambode had made it clear that he would embark on inclusive governance that would give power to the people at the grassroots for even development of communities.
Launching the Community Needs Assessment Report 2017, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs, Fola Padonu disclosed that 16 items were identified in the needs assessment, which he said. Included drainages, electricity, roads, community halls, public toilets, motor parks, among others.
Speaking, Deputy Consulate General, Peoples Republic of China, Guan Zhongpi, said the Chinese government had been partnering with Lagos in the area of CSR and that more attention would be given to the needs of the communities next year.
Present at the event were representatives from Dangote Groups, Chevron, Heritage Bank and several others which promised to partner with government in the area of CSR next year.