Posted by Remi Bello on Oct 01, 2021
They always say time changes things but you actually have to change them yourself. Once again, BEAT THE CLOCK
We have earned the right to celebrate our country, Nigeria.  We shall continue to do good as we are ‘people doing good in the world’.  The Nigeria we desire will be attained when we decide to be that harbinger of change as we are the Change Makers.  I am most delighted to say happy independence anniversary to Nigeria where we live and serve to change lives.  
We are in October; a quarter of this Rotary year is over. As the saying goes, time changes things but we actually have to change them ourselves hence my charge of last month that I am still repeating here, Beat the clock.  October is Economic and Community Development month in the Rotary calendar globally.
Last month, which was Basic Education and Literacy month saw me supporting our clubs during the DG’s visits in pursuance of the month’s focus on Basic Education and Literacy by visiting some of our primary schools.
Apart from presenting educational materials, I supervised reading by pupils; read with them and commissioned state-of-the-art bungalow with well-furnished classrooms, teachers’ room and headmistress office -- all en-suite constructed and donated by RC Maryland, Ikeja in collaboration with Chris Bamidele Onalaja Foundation (CBOF). 
Seeing what our clubs are doing, I felt proud of our organisation, Rotary International, and indeed felt proud being a Rotarian.   
I am glad to say that we are living to the charge of the ‘Change Maker Year’ as we continue to “Do More and Grow More”.  The push of our planned Rotary Day of Service continued to gain momentum as our clubs are bracing up to showcase more service projects, more collaborations, more partnerships, more of community engagements and we have started to see the effect of all these in our ‘Grow More’ in membership. 
We put out a challenge to grow membership in clubs during the month of August – Membership and New Club Development month with special recognition and award to be given to clubs that were able to induct a minimum of ten new members and form new Rotary Club(s). The following clubs won the recognition and awards for inducting 10 and more members:
RC Festac Town came first by inducting 13 members;
RC Maryland, Ikeja came second by inducting 11 members and RC Isolo came third by inducting 10 members. 
On formation of new clubs, RC Ikeja South came first by sponsoring RC Alakuko with 28 new members and RC Mushin Metro came second by sponsoring RC Ajao Estate with 26 new members.  The various winners were recognised and given new members induction kit worth between =N=100,000 and =N=140,000 each to the five winners as awards. 
I used the opportunity of the Multi-club training to promise additional recognition awards to Clubs before the end of the year.  I thank the District Membership Committee Chairman, PDG Pat Ikheloa, for overseeing the challenge.
This time in the last Rotary year 2019-2020, our membership strength was 3,081 and 3,621 as at 1st July, 2021. I am happy to note that we achieved our goal of 4,000 strong membership before the end of September 2021, having grown our membership to 4,083.  I thank all those that shared our membership slogan of ‘Each One Bring One and Retain All’ that has given us the kind of result we are having in ‘Grow More’.  May I use this opportunity to welcome our newly formed clubs into the family.
The Rotary International President, Shekhar and his Spouse, Rashi Mehta, started their visit to Nigeria from District 9110. We set the pace while others followed.  In the RI President’s team was Past Rotary International Vice President Yinka Babalola, PDG Kazeem Mustapha and EMGA PDG Pearl Ijeoma Okoro.  On hand to join me in receiving the RI President were the District Governors from the other three Districts in Nigeria, DG Okechukwu Okonkwo of District 9142; DG Eyone Andy Uwejeyan of District 9141 and DG Ayo Oyedokun of District 9125. 
From our District leaders, we had the Doyen of Past District Governors PDG Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi mni and other PDGs.  The District Rotaract Representative, Deji Shobowale, was also on hand to receive the RI President.
During the visit, the first point of contact for Shekhar Mehta was the dedication of the Indo-Eye/Rotary Eye Hospital in Lagos.  This project was funded by Indo Eye Foundation and furnished with Rotary Global Grant through the Rotary Club of Lagos Palmgrove Estate.
Trees were planted by the RI President, his wife Rashi, PRIVP and visiting District Governors at the Rotary Centre. 
The RI President’s girl-child empowerment project was given a boost through the vaccination of young girls aged 9-14 years for HPV.  The vaccination exercise was carried out under the supervision of PDG Dr. Jide Akeredolu while the RI President observed the vaccination exercise.   The RI President made an appearance at the Polio House where he was received by the Chairman of the Nigeria National PolioPlus Committee, PDG Dr. Tunji Funsho and Vice Chairman, PDG Yomi Adewunmi.
It was a well packaged reception by our District by the ‘RI President Reception ad-hoc Committee’ ably led by its Chairman, RRFC Deinde Shoga, and others in the Committee.  Please permit me to use this opportunity to appreciate members of the committee and indeed all Rotarians of our District for their time and generosity in our fund-raising drive to meet the expenses during the visit.
As at 30th September, 2021 the official District Governor's visit had been conducted in 49 clubs out of the 130 clubs in the District.  It has been a worthy experience from the clubs visited so far.  Dues are being paid, DEWEF pledges are being redeemed and payments are generally impressive.
If there is an urgent need for us to Beat the clock, it is mostly in our Foundation. Nevertheless, I am happy to report that one of our prospects for Arch Klump Society membership (AKS) was achieved through a Rotarian couple, Change Maker President Rotarian Bamidele Onalaja of RC of Maryland, Ikeja and Past President Tolulope Onalaja of RC Ogudu GRA.
The new AKS members were decorated by RI President Shekhar Mehta on 2nd September, 2021.  As part of  our initiative to ‘beat the clock’ in the area of The Rotary Foundation, a challenge for contributors to EREY has been introduced during the month. 
The challenge will afford each contributor to TRF the chance of winning a choice land in the Lekki area of Lagos State.  The more you contribute to TRF, the higher your chance of winning the parcel of land and other consolation prizes while the TRF credit to your account is intact. 
October, as I mentioned earlier, is Economic and Community Development month.  This is when we have activities in micro finance and poverty alleviation schemes in poor communities, etc.  Project ideas range from providing start-up equipment to young entrepreneurs, to vocational training for those without marketable skills, especially women. 
Our District will launch the novel District Economic Empowerment Programme (DEEP) as a flagship programme of the year during the month. This programme is meant to serve indigent students, like the other side of the coin that DEWEF has always been -- granting scholarship (to indigent but bright students) while DEEP is the other side of the coin (indigent but not bright students) that the parents sponsor from the little that they have.
DEEP will be used to empower the parents in order to be in position to sponsor their children to school. The DEEP will be provided with seed money of N20 million (Twenty million naira) to be managed by an independent finance expert that would be chosen by DEEP committee under the supervision of DEWEF Board of Trustees.  This fund will be a permanent fund to be supervised by DEWEF Board of Trustees.
The District Finance Committee has requested for Expression of Interest by Rotarians who are in the Audit Practice to take up the District Audit for 2021-2022.
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.  Rotary Day of Service is our tool for promoting Rotary Image this Rotary year.  Clubs are enjoined to follow up with the District committee in charge of the event.
It is time to go to work in order for us to have projects to showcase during our chosen Rotary Day of Service.
The District Polio Plus Committee organised Polio seminar and awards were given to clubs that were 100% compliant with payment of individual $10.00 per Rotarian. 
The RYLA Committee has continued with its plan of organising a massive RYLA of about 1,500 youths this Rotary year.  Our clubs have been very supportive, because with less than 50 clubs visited by me, sponsorship has exceeded 1,200. From the look of things, sponsorship is not likely to be the challenge for this year’s RYLA but I suspect that nomination of candidates will become the big issue.
May I therefore appeal to our clubs to start the process of nominating their candidates ahead of invitation by the committee.
The installation of District Interact Representative Arinze Chukwukelu took place on the last day of September 2021 in a well packaged event.  I congratulate the District Interact Committee for a good outing.  
A Rotary Day of Tributes was organised on 14th September, 2021 by the District We Care Committee, in memory of the late Past District Governor.  A full page colour Obituary was placed in the Punch newspaper by the District on the same day.  Other Past District Governors and I participated in the burial activities both in Lagos and Abeokuta.  May the soul of Past District Governor Ogundimu rest in peace.
 “Together we can, together we will”. 
Let us beat the clock and be the Change Makers as we serve to change lives.
District Governor