Posted by Elizabeth Edozie on Feb 01, 2022


‘Time waits for no man’

We are in the month of February, the eight month of the twelve months’ year.  A new theme for the coming Rotary year is announced by the RIPE Jennifer Jones – Imagine Rotary, this simply speaks volume that time waits for no man.


Nevertheless, the Change Maker year is still much around, there is still a lot to accomplish, I once again challenge you my Change Maker Rotarians BEAT THE CLOCK.

We had the month of January full of activities that one may not forget in a hurry.  

Our novel DG speaks continued during the month.  It was a well-received feedback mechanism by our clubs and Rotarians.  We shall continue to engage our clubs and Rotarians.

It is the month we had the first ever largest gathering of 670 Rylarians in our district.  RYLA took place between 7th and 15th January, 2022.  It was a well packaged training for our youths.  First time we introduced discussion on how to be a Nigerian and role of youths in nation building.  The Chairman, PP Dare Adeyeri and the Committee members deserve special commendation for handling such large gathering of youths and facilitators of about 900 people for ten consecutive days.  

The month of January is Vocational Service month.  In addition to activities at club level, the District concluded the month with a Seminar tagged Promoting Ethics in Business and Professions.  It was a well packaged Seminar by the Committee under the Vocational Service Committee Chairman – PAG Kayode Odebode and Ethics in Business sub-committee Chairman – PP Kehinde Ayo-Kasumu.  Pastor Ituah Ighodalo was the Guest Speaker, there is no way Ethics would be discussed in this clime without discussing the Nigerian nation.  The Guest Speaker advised that Rotary should spread our 4-way test across the length and breadth of the Country.  He believed if the nation could be guided by the tenets of  the 4-way test our Country would be better run.  The Seminar was well attended both in-person and virtual.  May I use this opportunity once again to appreciate the Committee, the Guest Speaker and in particular the sponsors of the event.   

We finally started the District Economic Empowerment Programme (DEEP).  The first set of the programme beneficiaries; sixty of them were given their letters of offer by the fund manager, M/s Seedvest Ltd. for the micro credit loan in the sum of N100,000 (One hundred thousand naira only) repayable after 6 months.  The beneficiaries were sponsored and guaranteed by the Clubs and Rotarians.

The District plan is to issue another two sets of the loan before the end of the Change Maker year. 


Adopt a School project (WASH)

This legacy project whereby clubs are expected to adopt a public primary school in their community with a view to provide Water, Sanitation and Hygiene under TRF global grant.  Very few clubs have shown interest in the project and issue of International partner is another huddle we are yet to cross.  Nevertheless, the project will still be executed even if to scale down the number of schools to be adopted in case the expected global grant could not be accessed.


I am pleased to report that the District Nominating Committee under the Chairmanship of the IPDG Bola Oyebade received nine nominations from our clubs and conducted screening and interview for the candidates.  The committee finally selected PAG Femi Adenekan of Rotary Club of Gbagada South as the best and most suitable candidate for the office of District Governor for our District or such District as may be applicable in 2024-2025 though the selection is still open to challenge in line with provisions of the Manual of Procedure.


February is a special month in the Rotary calendar because it was on the 23rd of February, 1905, a Chicago attorney, Paul Harris, along with three of his friends, Gustavus Loehr,  Silvester Schiele and Hiram Shorey, gathered in Loehr's office in Room 711 of the Unity building in downtown Chicago for what became the first Rotary club meeting.  February 23rd, is celebrated as Rotary's anniversary.  In the Rotary calendar it is called the 'World Peace and Understanding Day '.   As we have been charged by the Rotary International Change Maker President that we celebrate Rotary Day of Service specially this Rotary year by doing more of service project, do more of collaboration, do more of partnership and do more of community engagement.  Our various Clubs have been living up to these charges with various events organized in our communities the climax of which will be the event being planned for 23rd February, 2022 across Lagos and Ogun States by the District Rotary Day of Service Committee under its Chairman, PP Biodun Oshinibosi.  It promises to be an hand-on event by Rotarians and meant to show case Rotarians to be people of action and subsequently grow Rotary as charged by the RI President – Shekhar Mehta.


In the Rotary calendar, February month is the 'Peace building and Conflict Prevention Month'.    The District Committee for the World Peace and Understanding Day is looking at the positive side by emphasizing Peace building and conflict prevention than conflict resolution.  The committee under its chairman – PP Yemi Oshilaja has scheduled a Seminar for the 24th of February since the 23rd is already scheduled for Rotary Day of Service in our District.   The topic to be explored is to look at our clubs and available instrument in place to promote peace and prevent conflict within our organization – Rotary.


The District is planning its annual TRF Fund Raising Dinner for 19th of February, 2022 at the Muson Centre with a new concept.  All payments for tickets and advertisement will go directly to individual Rotarians’ TRF account.  The Committee in charge being led by PP Adeniyi Adelaja is planning to raise fund to be supported by the District for the entertainment aspect of the programme.


I am glad to report that we have submitted our District request for the splitting of our District into two.  I am hopeful that our request would be favorably considered by RI Board very soon. May I use this medium to thank and appreciate our leaders, clubs and Rotarians for the confidence and trust reposed in the leadership of the District by your YES votes and strengthening of clubs to meet up with the minimum requirements for Districting.  It may be necessary I state that RI Board’s approval is the first step in our move to split by 1st of July, 2024, we are still required to continue to grow our membership not to fall below our submission during the transition period. 


As at close of January 2022, a total of 95 Rotary Clubs were visited.  The club visits continued to provide  clubs the elixir required to energize them as the visit was made to be full of fun, motivational, inspirational and knowledge sharing.  I thank all those clubs that received the DG’s visit  team and those that are looking forward to receive the team.  It may be necessary we remind those clubs that are not working towards receiving the DG’s visit, your attention is hereby drawn to RI Code of Policies released in August 2021, your club’s failure to receive the DG’s visit or cooperate with the District would make your club to be classified as non-functioning club and may be opened to invitation for discussion with the DG and see how your club can be made a functioning Rotary Club. 



Training Programmes

From 7th February, 2022 training of Rotary Officers, starting with virtual International Assembly for the District Governors-elect shall commence.  This will be followed in our District with DTTS on the 26th of February, 2022 and Presidents-elect Training Seminar (PETS) and DTA between 25th and 27th March, 2022.  I encourage our would-be officers to take the trainings with all seriousness they deserve.  My experience has shown that Rotary knowledge at Clubs and among Rotarians are below expectation.  Ordinarily, in Rotary no officer should take office without taken necessary training.  I wish my District Governor-elect, Rotarian Omotunde Lawson a successful International Assembly and also I wish all our future leaders all the best  in the coming year.

District Conference (DISCON) 2022

DISCON 2022  is fast approaching.  Information at my reach shows that we shall have a conference like never before in terms of networking, fellowship, fun, motivational and inspiring speakers.  The preparation so far is very encouraging.  The conference will afford us the opportunity  to dance from a first class life-band musician in our land.



It is no longer news that the Houston Convention 2022 is to hold between 4th and 8th June, 2022 in Houston, Texas, USA.  There is a ray of hope that the US embassy will open opportunity for drop-box with effect from the month of February, we are hopeful that many Rotarians with travel history will have the opportunity of renewing their visas and attend the convention.

The On-To-Houston Convention Committee of the District, under its Chairman – PAG Niyi Adesanya is going ahead with the necessary plan to receive the attendees at the convention. As I promised in my last address, I want to assure all attendees, once again, of special treatment as I will personally be on ground to receive all in the company of the Committee Chairman.


“Together we can, together we will”.


Let me end this address by saying that I cannot thank you enough, on behalf of myself and my wife - Nike, for the support and plead that it is not over until it is over, the clock is still begging to be beaten, let us continue to beat the clock and be the confirmed ‘change maker’ as we ‘serve to change lives’.


Remi Bello, FCA