BSN struggles to fund operations amidst 80 million Christians
The general secretary of the Bible Society of Nigeria has explained how the current economy crisis is telling on the operations of the organisation, and Christians using the Bible aren’t willing to help.
“Nigeria’s economy has not been this bad,” said Dare Ajiboye, who took over the leadership of the society in 2014. “But God has been faithful to us in the last two years.”
The not-for-profit body prints no fewer than two million copies of the Bible from outside of Nigeria, and that makes it one of the forex-starved economic players always scrambling for greenbacks.
Ajiboye, a reverend and Ph.D holder in succession planning, blamed the political class for the socio-political problems Nigeria faces now.
According to him, the problem didn’t start with the current administration, but from the past ones largely controlled by selfish politicians.
‘Nigerians are paying taxes, and politicians are spending it.’ He said, calling on them to fear God.
Bad as the economy has been, the BSN, Ajiboye said, has been able to do a lot of ground-breaking things locally and internationally even with insufficient funding it gets as a not-for-profit.
“We have been able to create Bible stories in sign language,’” he said, adding that the BSN is the first member of the United Bible Society in 200 countries around the word to do that.
“Our translation centre is now in Ibadan—run by our trained staff. We used to go to Kenya to meet the translation consultant before,” he added.
He said no fewer than 10 translation projects are on-going now, and a transaction project gulps about N40 million, not reckoning with other expenses.
He urged church leaders to change their indifference to the BSN. “Many of them see no use for a Bible society. Yet they are what they are today because they use the Bible,” he said.
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Recalling what the 50-year-old society faced in the course of fundraising, the general secretary said some churches would not even accept their request to come and worship with their congregations, let alone solicit for funds.
Nigeria has Africa’ s largest population of Christians–in terms of figures. There are over 80 million Christians across the six geo-political zone in the country.
Ajiboye, however, commended a handful of the churches that have been of help to the organisation.
The BSN is focused on translating, publishing, and distributing the Bible. Another of its core activities is fundraising.
It is also a member of the United Bible Society spread all over 200 countries around the world.