Posted by Remi Bello on Sep 01, 2021
It is my pleasure to welcome you to the month of ‘knowledge sharing and acquisition’.  September is the month of 'BASIC EDUCATION AND LITERACY’ in the Rotary world.
In this address, may I relate with ‘time’ as I did in my last two releases.  Since September is the third month in our ‘Change Maker Year’, we need to accelerate faster than we did in the last two months. It is time to ‘beat the clock’ because before you know it, the year will be over. Therefore, ‘beat the clock’ fellow Rotarians.
As scheduled in the District Governor’s calendar for the year, ‘DG Speaks’ took place on 5th August, 2021.  It was a virtual meeting where all Rotarians were given the opportunity to talk to the District Governor. The concept was widely received and it will continue on a monthly basis as planned in the calendar. Some naughty issues agitating the minds of Rotarians were discussed during the session.
Interestingly, this is a month we are having an august visitor in September.  Our Rotary International President, the Change Maker President, Shekhar Mehta and his spouse, Rashi Mehta, are both visiting our country to pursue his goal of making change in that magical figure from 1.2m to 1.3m in our global membership strength and promoting his pet project of empowering the ‘girl-child’. During the visit, the RI President promised to throw more light on Rotary Days of Service.
I am pleased to report that in the month of August, Membership and 
New Club Development month can be said to be successful.  The ‘Each One Bring One (Retain All)’ strategy is being vigorously pursued by the clubs and the District during the DG’s visit to clubs. We have been able to grow our membership with a net gain of 248 new Rotarians during the first two months of the year.  We started the year with membership strength of 3,621 and now increased to 3,869 members.
Regrettably, seven clubs were terminated by Rotary International for failure to meet up with their RI dues obligation.  The District has started engaging members of the terminated clubs that are still willing to serve through invitation to other clubs and some are being encouraged to join new club formation initiatives.
Two new Clubs have been formed since the beginning of the Rotary Year while the third club is awaiting charter from the Rotary International.  The plan for the year is to form 36 new clubs and grow our membership by adding 1,600 new members at the end of the Rotary Year.  The two new clubs are Rotary Club of Alakuko and Rotary Club of Ajao Estate.   
May I use this medium to once again congratulate the Rotary Club of Ikeja South and Rotary Club of Mushin Metropolitan respectively for the sponsorship of the new clubs.  I also congratulate the charter members of our new clubs.  
It is my hope that we shall cross the 4,000 band by the end of the first quarter of the year.  The good news in the net gain is the spread across clubs in the District.
Meanwhile, Rotarians that sponsored the new members are to be presented and recognised by the Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta at a reception holding at The Rotary Centre, Ikeja, Lagos in commemoration of the President’s visit to our District on Thursday 2nd September, 2021.
As at 31st August, 2021 the official District Governor's visit has been conducted in 33 clubs out of the 127 clubs in the District.  It has been a worthy experience from the clubs visited so far.  Dues are being paid; DEWEF pledges and payment are encouraging.
The starting is slow but very promising with about four AKS pledges secured.   One of the four is awaiting pledge form from TRF.
A Strategic Planning Committee was inaugurated during the month of August under the leadership of the District Troika led by the District Governor with DGE and DGN serving as Vice Chairman 1 and Vice Chairman 2 respectively.  The committee is to review and update the District Strategic Plan 2018-2021 that expired on 30th June, 2021 for another 3-year period.  
In line with the provision of RI Manual of Policies and our District MOP, the Finance Committee with PDG Jide Akeredolu as Chairman was also inaugurated. 
A well-attended 1st Council of Governors meeting for the year was held on August 18, 2021. One of the major decisions of the Council is the following Resolution taken on procedure for appointment of Independent Auditor to audit District Accounts.
The present system where the Auditors are appointed or sacked by the District Governor is not in the spirit of good corporate governance in line with RI Strategic objective of ‘Increase our adaptability’. 
It is hereby RESOLVED that the District through the Finance Committee annually (September/October) invite expression of interest among Rotarians with practicing firms of Chartered Accountants to audit the year's financial report. The selection is to be made by the Finance Committee with the concurrence of the DG.
The Auditor will thereafter be presented to a District Assembly for ratification by a simple majority of attendance at the Assembly. The Auditor is to express an independent opinion on the true and fair view of the Financial Report as presented by the District. The Finance Committee is to negotiate the audit fee or honorarium with the Auditor. The Auditor shall not be re-appointed for more than three consecutive Rotary Years.
The District Governor appeared on Eko FM radio breakfast programme on August 18, 2021. I also made a TVC appearance was during the World Humanitarian Day on the 19th August, 2021. Inner Wheel team of District 912 led by their Chair, Mrs. Adefunke Shinaba, was received by the District Governor on 22nd August, 2021.
We are honouring this year’s theme of Reading the Past, Writing the Future by looking back at education and literacy in Rotary through the years. We shall also be looking ahead to find innovative solutions to current challenges standing in the way of quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all in our country.
As we are settling down in the new Rotary Year, many clubs have done their investiture to raise funds for service projects. Clubs are encouraged once again to key into the ‘Adopt-a-School’ project of the District for the year.  Let us now go to work as stated by our President: “Together we can, together we will”.
Let us beat the clock and be the change makers as we Serve to Change Lives.

Remi Bello, FCA