Posted by Remi Bello on Mar 01, 2022

Tick, tick, ticks the clock


1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 AND 9…


Here we are, the ninth month of our Change Maker Year is here.  Is anyone still under the illusion that the time we have is unlimited? Time is the most deceptive resource you can ever think of as highly unlimited.


Welcome to the month of March, the month dedicated to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene(WASH), one of the areas of focus of The Rotary Foundation (TRF).  Clean water is a basic need for human beings. Our clubs and even the Nigeria National Polio Plus Committee (NNPC) have continued to lead in provision of drinking water.  


Very few people die of thirst; millions die from preventable waterborne diseases, providing the impetus for our clubs to improve sanitation facilities in our communities as could be seen from various projects being commissioned by them.  

May I appeal to our clubs to use this month to continue to assist our communities in the provision of drinking water, hand sanitizers and sanitary pads for our girls among other things that we can do.


In February, which had 28 days, a few days less when compared to other months was never short of activities – it was a fully loaded month.



To God be the glory, the curtain was drawn on DG’s visit to clubs after visiting 109 clubs out of 129. The remaining 20 clubs have been invited to the District for the DG’s visit in mid-March.



The District organised The Rotary Foundation fund raising dinner on the 19th February, 2022 under a completely new model. The new model ensured that all payments by Rotarians and none Rotarians were paid directly to The Rotary Foundation account. 

Entry into the event was based on payment to TRF without separate entry fee to the event. The Chairman of the TRF Fund Raising Committee, Past President Niyi Adelaja and his members,did a great job with individual support while also mobilizing external support with donation of food and drinks.  


The event had RI Endowment and Major Gift Advisor as well as Passion Queen, PDG Ijeoma Pearl Okoro, as the Guest Speaker and Fund Raiser. She displayed a sterling performance at the event.  The sum realized was put at around $140,000. I thank our Fund Raiser especiallythough I was not surprised; we knew what she is capable of when it comes to matters relating The Rotary Foundation.

Kindly permit me to appreciate our members for their trust and confidence in our ability to be innovative and for embracing the new model that could redefine how to handle TRF Fund Raising Dinner.



The peak of activities for the month was the Rotary Day of Service that was held on 23rdFebruary, 2022, Rotary International Founder’s Day.  It was an event that was promoted almost a year under the Chairmanship of PP Abiodun Oshinibosi.  It brought home the charge of RI President Shekar Mehta that we should do more of service projects, do more of collaboration, do more of partnership and do more of community engagement.  


All these were put together in the event as our clubs were divided into twenty four clusters across Lagos and Ogun States.  Our Rotary Clubs and Rotaract Clubs worked together, underscoring the spirit of collaboration, while also forging partnerships with government agencies.  


It was a day Rotary presence was felt across the two states.  There was significant press coverage of the event which was activated essentially as a public image tool.  


May I use this opportunity to thank the Chairman and his committee members for a well-coordinated event.  I also extend my sincere appreciation to our District Leaders, DGE, DGN, DGND and our PDGs for leading the initiative.  The next stage of the RI President charge is to grow more as we reap the fruit of our labour in the Rotary Day of Service activities.



Immediately after the Rotary Day of Service we had a seminar organized by World Understanding Day and Peace Committee under the Chairmanship of PAG Yemi Oshilaja.  The topic of the seminar was, “Peace Building and Conflict Prevention” with special reference to our clubs.  The lead discussant was PP Chester Apasi with PP Sunit Debroy – they both did justice to the topic and I am sure our participants at the Seminar -- both on-line and virtual -- had a good time


The second set of District Economic Empowerment Programme (DEEP) will be awarded during the month – similar to what we did when we gave out the first set of awards. This is in line with the District plan to issue another two sets of loan before the end of the Change Maker Year.



Having completed her last training at the International Assembly, the next thing for the Incoming District Governor Omotunde Lawson is to come home and share the new knowledge by organizing the first training for the ‘Imagine Rotary’ Year at the District level.  


The first training was the District Team Training Seminar which was held from 25th to 26thFebruary, 2022.  I am happy to report that it was a successful event.  I congratulate the Incoming District Governor for a brilliant start.  Let me also use this medium to congratulate our District Leaders, especially our District Trainer, PDG Kamoru Omotosho, and his team for very impacting sessions. 


The icing on cake of the training was the Doyen who held us spell-bound with rich anecdotes and great insights during his presentation. After the RI President’s address, the Doyen took to the podium and as usual, he mesmerised his audience.  On behalf of all our Rotarians, I thank you sir and pray to God to spare you for many more years to come.


From the tone of the IDG’s address, it may no longer be business as usual for unethical practices in our District. Promoting ethical standards and great values as leaders was also highlighted by Past Rotary International Vice President, Yinka Babalola. He cited the example a past president who failed to give account of his/her stewardship and yet was looking forwardto leading at the District level. The fact that we are volunteers does not mean we should not be accountable – integrity is a major core value of Rotary and we must be trustworthy always.What makes The Rotary Foundation the Foundation of choice, is trust.


I hope the new crop of leaders assembled by IDG Lawson will make our District proud by behaving ethically so that we can be in a position to create that lasting change in our world and indeed in ourselves.



I wish the incoming team a successful tenure.The next training is the Presidents-elect Training Seminar (PETS) and DTA between 25thand 27th March, 2022.  I encourage our Presidents-elect and club officers to take the trainings with all the seriousness that they deserve. Acquiring Rotary knowledge is important for running an effective, functioning and vibrant Rotary Club.



Preparation for DISCON 2022 holding from May 12 to 15, 2022 in Abeokuta is at an advance stage. I am pleased to note that the committee chair, PAG Lanre Adedoyin, has assured me of a wholesome experience in terms of networking, fellowship, fun, motivational and inspiring speakers. I promise that we shall dance and dance to the music of a Nigerian superstar and icon at the Conference – it’s a deal! I can say that the preparation so far has been very encouraging. 



It is no longer news that in-person Houston Convention 2022 will hold from June 4 to 8, 2022 in Houston, Texas, USA. Rotarians have started receiving their visas.


The On-to-Houston Convention Committee of the District, under the Chairmanship of PAG Niyi Adesanya, is still going ahead with the necessary plan to receive the attendees at the convention. As I promised in my last address,may I reiterate to all attendees, once again, of the VIP treatment that will be accorded Rotarians who are able to make it to Houston as I will personally be on ground to receive everyone in the company of the Committee Chairman.



One of the seven RI Presidential Conferences, the Africa version, is holding in Maputo,Mozambique.  About thirty of our members are attending the conference holding from 4th to 5thMarch, 2022. 


“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 extended to mesince the Change Maker Year began. 


I 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 Makers’ as we ‘serve to change lives’.


Remi Bello, FCA