Posted by Elizabeth Edozie on Aug 01, 2021
It is a common saying that ‘Time waits for no one’
In my New Year message around this time last month, I said, “We kill time. We save time. We rob and get robbed of time, we lose time, and we have all the time in the world. But no one is powerful enough to stop the march of time or slow it down, hence we say, ‘how time flies.’” If we deconstruct this statement, it simply means we can not afford to play with time.
May I therefore request we make the best use of the moment as time waits for no one.
On this note, I welcome you to August, the 2nd month of our Change Maker Year. I am happy to address you again in keeping with my promise of bringing you up to speed and giving insights into what you should expect -- both at international as well as local levels of Rotary in our world of service to humanity.
The year began on July 1 with special and well attended prayer session led by the Chief Missioner (CM) of Nasrul-lahi-li Fathi Society of Nigeria (NASFAT), Engr Morufu Onike Abdul- Azeez. The CM who was once a Rotarian shared his experience of Rotary and its ideals. He commended the foresight of the founding fathers of Rotary and juxtaposed it with the Islamic position on acts of Charity. He prayed for the Change Maker District Governor, Rotarians of the District and the nation at large.
Our highly revered PDG Tunji Funsho who was in attendance at the session gave a goodwill message and pledged his support and that of the Nigeria National PolioPlus Committee for a successful 2021-22 Rotary Year.
A full page sponsored congratulatory colour advertisement by some Rotarian friends of the Change Maker Governor was published on page 15 of The Punch newspaper’s edition on July 1, 2021. Apart from celebrating the District Governor, the advert was also a public image tool for Rotary. It is evident that the advertisement achieved its objective because of the enquiries that we received.
A tour of The Rotary Centre was conducted and guided by the Transition Committee Chairman, PAG Lanre Kasim of RC Gbagada. This was followed closely by the meeting of the District Staff and the District Executive Committee (the DG’s Core Team).
My first official assignment was on 2nd July, 2021 when I attended the investiture ceremony of Babawale Agbeyangi, the Change Maker President of the Rotary Club of Lagos. The next day on 3rd July, 2021 it was my installation as the Change Maker District Governor of our District. It was a colourful ceremony that was brilliantly packaged by the Installation Committee Chaired by PAG Henry Akinyele of RC of Maryland, Ikeja.
The installation ceremony was witnessed by the Governor of Oyo State who was represented by the Deputy Chief of Staff. It was a well-attended event by Rotary leaders led by Past Rotary International Vice President and Director, PDG Yinka Babalola; other District Governors from the three districts in Nigeria, the Doyen of Past District Governors in Nigeria, PDG Juli Adelusi-Adeluyi, Past District Governors and their spouses.
The Royal Fathers of the Day were led by the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, Okukenu IV. Others included the Oba of Ojodu and the Elegushi of Ikateland who was represented by a Prince from the palace. Also in attendance were captains of industry, family, friends, well-wishers and the media. The Chairman of the installation ceremony was Asiwaju Solomon Kayode Onafowokan, OON while Chief (Mrs) Nike Akande, CON was the Mother of the Day.

The District team has since settled down to work with the commencement of the statutory District Governor’s visits to clubs. As at the end 6 of July, I have visited 16 clubs: RC Ikeja, RC Lagos, RC Ikeja South, RC New Magboro, RC Maryland, RC Gbagada, RC Falomo, RC Mushin Metro, RC Ojodu, RC Ikoyi, RC Ikoyi Metro, RC Agege, RC Ogba, RC Gbagada South, RC Ikeja-Alausa and RC Igbe Midland.
The visits have been quite successful as clubs are living up to expectation. DEWEF received a big boost during the visits and the amount raised so far is N17,250,000. It may be necessary I mention that an individual donation of N2.0m by PDG Niji Raji and his wife in the name of LARAADE Foundation is included the amount stated above.
Clubs have also been generous with their support for RYLA during the visits and this is quite commendable. Out of a target of 1,500 participants, commitments have been received from various clubs for 574 RYLARIANS so far. I thank you all.
As you may be aware, August is 'Membership and New Club Development Month'. RI President, Shekhar Mehta, has charged us to DO MORE AND GROW MORE. We are required to do more of projects, do more of community engagements, do more of collaborations, do more of partnerships, do more of public image and, more importantly, GROW MORE in MEMBERSHIP. The summation of this charge is what has resulted in the name given to the year as CHANGE MAKER Year. We are to be the change we want and the change we want is to increase membership.
At the heart of our change making efforts is our goal to grow membership by 1,600 by chartering 36 new clubs and increase efforts in attraction and engagement.
Clubs that are able to induct a MINIMUM of TEN (10) MEMBERS or CHARTER at least ONE (1) ROTARY CLUB, ONE (1) ROTARACT CLUB AND ONE (1) INTERACT CLUB in the month of August will be given a Special Recognition and Award by September 2021. Names of the ten (10) inductees must reach the District office on or before 31st August, 2021 while the document for the New Rotary Club Application must be submitted to Rotary International on or before 31st August, 2021.
I am pleased to report the formation and charter of the Rotary Club of Alakuko while application for Rotary Club of Ajao Estate is awaiting charter any moment from now. In line with the District’s Strategic Plan, a club with 100 or more members is a Mega Club.
Clubs are enjoined to explore new membership models to expand the range of potential members. Junior membership is for Rotaractors and people below the age of 30. This will encourage age diversity. Family membership is for spouses and children of regular members. Corporate membership targets corporate organisations having Rotary Clubs mainly for employees within their organisations.
I regret to inform you that seven of our clubs were terminated by Rotary International during the month for failure to pay dues after a long grace period. Members of the terminated clubs have been advised and encouraged to join other clubs.
The DG was invited by the Lagos State Government for the tree planting exercise for the year 2021 which took place on July 14 at Muri Okunola Park, Victoria Island. The DG was represented by PAG Kayode Odebode at the event.
To underscore the importance of training, remedial PETS and DTA were organised for the second time for about 12 formed clubs that were formed towards the end of the last Rotary year. The trainings were held on the 15th and 22nd July, 2021. The Public Image Seminar and Grant Management Seminar were also held during the month.

In preparation for the proposed visit of Rotary International President, Shekhar Mehta, to Nigeria between 1st and 7th September, 2021, a Presidential Reception Committee was set up and inaugurated on the 23rd July, 2021 under the Chairmanship of RRFC Deinde Shoga and PDG Jide Akeredolu as his Vice Chair. The Committee has already started work.
In the spirit of the Muslim festival of Eid-el- Adha, the District organised an Eid-el-Kabir Feast for Rotarians. It was a well-attended event. We are in the process of renovating and outsourcing the management of J. B. Majiyagbe Guest House. We hope this will be concluded within the first quarter of the 2021-22 Rotary Year. The Restaurant at the District is being considered for upgrade to a standard that will be acceptable to Rotarians to encourage patronage.
The 3rd All Africa Rotary Zone 22 Institute 2021 will hold between 24th and 28th August, 2021 in Yaoundé, Cameroon. Registration fee can only be paid after you must have registered online
Arrangement has been concluded with UBA to accept payment in Naira for registration at the rate of 420.00 to USD. Registration assistance can be obtained at the District office and Nigerians do not require visa to enter Cameroon. Please come and enjoy the tourist attractions in Cameroon and network with Rotarians and other dignitaries from around the world.
Please permit me to use this medium to request that we fold our sleeves as we intend to Do More and Grow More for Rotary.
In August, we shall continue our quest to Serve to Change Lives. God bless you.
Remi Bello, FCA
District Governor 2021-2022 Rotary International District 9110 Rotary Centre
8 Ladoke Akintola Street
Ikeja GRA, Lagos
Tel: 08033086825