Posted by ELIZABETH EDOZIE on Apr 15, 2019
The Incoming District Governor (IDG), Rotary International, District 9110, Nigeria, Jide Akeredolu has stated that his team of district leaders next Rotary year 2019-20, will be focusing on “Rotarians in the district”.
“My vision, as the Team Leader, is that together, we will build a District where Rotarians will enjoy their membership more, where Rotary will complement other areas of our lives, and we can be able to serve our communities and the world better”, Incoming District Governor Jide Akeredolu
The Incoming Governor stated this at the just concluded District Training Assembly (DTA0 2019 held at Golden Tulip Hotel, Festac in Lagos, on Friday, April 12 – Saturday, April 13, 2019.
IDG Akeredolu, while speaking to the participants at the training stated, “My vision, as the Team Leader, is that together, we will build a District where Rotarians will enjoy their membership more, where Rotary will complement other areas of our lives, and we can be able to serve our communities and the world better.”
The IDG, noting that the Rotary International (RI) President-elect Mark Maloney has emphasised that Rotary leaders should focus on members, and look for ways to make Rotary more attractive and less burdensome to young and busy professionals who are being left out with the way Rotary is run at club, district and even RI levels said he “will today be literally putting some flesh into the general goals and vision we have for the District in the Rotary year 2019-20.”
The Incoming Governor, in his speech said, “We have a superb edifice, and infrastructure which we can be proud of but we run the risk of over-centralisation of Rotary activities in one location.  I have vision of a centre like what the RI headquarters in Evanston is for Rotarians.  Some District Governors have never visited the place, but that does not make them less effective. 
“You should be able to relate very well with the District office without, or with only occasional visits.  The clubs are where the action should be.  All meetings don’t have to be in the District office.  I will, in fact, encourage committees to have their meetings anywhere, any day, and anytime that is convenient for them. The flexibility we talk about also involves District activities. 
“The District office is open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, and these are peak working hours for many Rotarians, who are professional and business people. I hear the grumbling in the grassroots from many Rotarians, that they have to make journeys, sometimes more than 2 hours each way, and sometimes multiple times a week, to function effectively as District officers.
“This disenfranchises Rotarians in far off areas like Ijebu-Ode, Badagry, Abeokuta, and many other areas of our District. I will try my best to reduce the strain, so that you can enjoy your Rotary experience more”, he said.
According to IDG Akeredolu, “Video conferencing facilities will be installed in the District office, so that Rotarians can participate in meetings from their offices, or wherever they are without physically being present in the District office. And these facilities are not expensive, in fact, having them will save money!  And that is even if your committee decides to meet at the District office.  Meet anywhere, anytime, any day, just keep the District informed of your activities.
“Correspondences to Rotarians, District officers, and committees will be mainly electronic.  We will drastically reduce the amount of paper correspondences from the District office.  Since I became the District Governor Nominee till today, I have received tons of electronic mail from RI, but not a single paper mail.   The occasional paper material or memento as an AKS member, but none, none as a District Governor-Elect or DGN.  We can, to a large extent copy the RI’s mode of operations, and we will.
He further said, “I have heard comments that some Rotarians don’t check and read their mails.  I submit that they check them if they need to.  They apply for visas, buy airline tickets, shop online, buy JAMB forms, do bank transfers, even dating but still want letters to be sent to P.O Box. While it is true that some people will forever remain stuck in the analogue age, Rotary will need to move with the times. 
“Provision will still be made for this group of Rotarians, but the main trust of activities in the District will be electronic. Like happens at the House of friendship at conventions, you will notice, at the booth for the promotion of the next convention, many laptops placed to assist Rotarians who want to register for the next convention, which they could actually do on the smartphones in their pockets.
“I still wonder, why people still troupe to those laptops to do their registration, something they could do literally from the palm of their hands with free Wi-Fi available. You even have a more ridiculous line of Rotarians who can only fill the registration on paper, and then queue to hand it over to Rotaractors at the end of the line, to help them transcribe it to the laptops the one they couldn’t handle”, he said, noting that “we will still have people like that, and make allowance for them.”
The Incoming Governor spoke about the district website which is the Club Runner software, paid for by the district every year but is hardly used. Not anywhere near its maximum potential. He also spoke about digital preservation of district records, support and strengthening of clubs, service projects, and The Rotary Foundation.
Speaking on The Rotary Foundation, he stated that his team hope to raise up to a million dollars for the Rotary Foundation through various innovative means, one of which includes ‘The Million Dollar Challenge’.   
He explained the project ‘The Million Dollar Challenge’ saying, “We plan to go for the very small donor, tantalised with the prospects of fantastic prizes in multiple mega raffle draws.  Ticket prices will be five dollars. Or two thousand naira. No one will tell me he cannot afford a ticket of two thousand naira. In fact, I expect each and everyone here for example, not to buy only a ticket, but to buy a booklet of 20 tickets.  Or multiple booklets.
“If you can’t buy, you can sell. The prize include a brand new salon car as the star prize and many other juicy prizes like business class tickets to London, free District conference registration with hotel accommodation and gala night tickets thrown in for good measure.  The prizes will be so many and juicy, you will want to take a loan to buy tickets. I know many of you Rotarians don’t need prizes to make you want to support our Foundation, but this might just make you up your game”, he said.
He further explained, “You may just make your contribution the old-fashioned way, or buy tickets.  Whichever way, you will be credited for your Foundation contributions.  A Paul Harris Fellow contribution will get you 10 booklets or 200 tickets.  And each ticket can win any prize. So, either for the lure of the juicy prizes, or just for goodness sake, you can buy as many tickets as you want.  There will be 200,000 tickets on sale, and there will be facilities to buy online, with your Naira debit card. 
“The platform is being built as we speak, and will be linked to the district website on the 1st of July. About 4 to 10 draws are planned, depending on the volume of prizes we can accumulate. They will be physical draws, but monitored online, so you can buy a ticket in Yola, and know instantly if and when you win, because we will call you, on the phone number you submitted when you bought the ticket.  And the results will appear simultaneously, in real time, on the District website.   
Past District Governor Geeta Manek of Rotary International, District 9211, Kenya, representing Rotary International President Barry Rassin at the Rotaractors programme- Niger ROTA which was holding at the time of the training, was also present at the training and the participants were honoured to have her speak to them.
Special guest of honour was Past District Governor Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, who spoke to the participants on “Rotary, My Rotary”.
At the end of the two-day training which was majorly sponsored by First bank Nigeria ltd, awards of appreciation were issued to the guest speakers and certificates were issued to district leaders and members of the DTA 2019 planning committee, led by the Coordinator, Bukola Bakare.
To read further, download the full “Our Journey Through 2019-20” presentation via