Tuesday, 27 December 2011

The Class 2003 Loyola College Old Boys’ Reunion

Ige, Abass & Chief Ayangbayi

On December 24 2011, some old boys met at the dinning hall of Loyola College Ibadan, one of the most prestigious mission schools taken over by the Oyo State Government and transformed into public schools in the wake of the 1980s. Founded in 1954 by Rev. Father Mackle of the catholic mission and originally distinguished by its qualitative education and adequate sporting facilities, the Loyola College which is still located along the Old Ife Road in Ibadan has produced many influential politicians, academicians, engineers, lawyers, doctors and other distinguished professionals over the years. But the eminent boys’ only school has grossly dwindled in glory as several of its most vital facilities are presently in dilapidated states while others are absolutely absent. The class 2003 which is disputably the last set of champion loyolans because of their active participation and performance at JETS competition, the Governor’s football tournament, Music, Arts, Basketball contests and Pepsi football academy recently assembled to share ideas on how to aid the restoration of the school’s lost glory.

The first speaker at the class 2003 reunion, Mrs Grace Oderinde, was one of the set’s favourite teachers, being the school’s life planning education tutor in their time. She was fondly remembered by many of the boy long after their graduation many years ago. Famous for her natural beauty and virtuousness, Mrs Oderinde offered the senior boys serial classes on sexual development and education. Most of the boys professed they were always looking forward to her lecture days to learn how to persuade the ladies from Saint Anne Girls’ High School at extramural classes. At the reunion, she made an interesting presentation on Recipe for building a good family with a focus on how to choose the right partner. She highlighted and explained the traits of a good woman or wife material and offered guidelines for having a successful marriage with someone from a different tribe. Sharing from life experience, she illustrated the problems associated with the search for greener pastures abroad and encouraged the alumni to acquire additional skills that can serve as an alternative means of livelihood in times when white-collar jobs are difficult to find. She relayed her time in Ireland with the ex-loyolans as a time of exposure, impact and redirection.

The other guest speaker, Chief S.O. Ayangbayi, who was the school principal for five out of the six years spent by the 2003 class, gave a lecture titled, self-sustenance, panacea to the dwindling Nigerian economy: our graduates’ perspective. He commenced with an enumeration of how Loyola College was built, how the school administration system was captured by the then government and the following but gradual mismanagement processes that reduced the school to what it is today. He also back-traced the failure history of government in performing its functions in our nation and identified the harnessing of local products and talents as a means of bridging the technological dichotomy between Nigeria and foreign countries. Advising the government, he said, “Let there be Igbo-made and okrika products. Government should seek ways of supporting them and improving the quality of their products. Those in government should close our borders to the importation of foreign goods.” Speaking further, Chief Ayangbayi, encouraged the many graduates of agricultural economics to continue the farming habit which they compulsorily practised while undergoing their undergraduate studies.

Though some of the 2003 set of loyolans, especially those in diaspora, were absent from the event, they sorely wished to be present. The event’s organising committee, chaired by Mr Abass Babatunde and comprising key facilitators such as Calculus, Sarofa and Owoyokun Abayomi, was severally praised by the ex-loyolans who were glad to see one another after an interlude of approximately 8years. Among those present at the reunion were Dr Olagoke Olakanmi (Ebora), Engr Tomiwa Ishola, Kunle Ola esq., Akinyemi Olayinka esq. (Sarofa), Engr. Ige Damilola (Calculus), Mr Ekene Mbalu (Oparun), Olawale Timothy esq. (Tanko), Mr Akerele Abayomi, Engr Femi Akintunde, Engr. Dimeji Adeyinka, Barr. Taiwo Egharevba, Mr Ismail Adeyemo, Segun Obisesan esq. (Senior Prefect), Mr Peter Adewoye (Ishoro), Mr Olajide, Mr Tolulope (Asst Senior Prefect), Mr Steven Bikers and many other prominent class 2003 loyolans. It is the desire of the organisers to have a recurrence of the event biennially. Until then, all class 03 loyolans are implored to keep their fingers crossed.

See More pictures here:

Saturday, 24 December 2011

When the Stakeholders of Future Lagos Met

When I first a received text message some time in November stating my nomination and invitation to attend the Lagos Youth Stakeholders Forum, I shrugged off the temptation to add it to my plans, knowing how tight time constraints would be on my schedule that week. Besides, I felt it was probably just another of those government initiatives that assemble youths to record their complaints and never do anything about it. But when the same SMS alerted my phone two more times, I had to read it more carefully. And then, I realized that though it was a programme sponsored by the Lagos State Government, it was co-sponsored and coordinated by the Afterschool Graduate Development Centre (AGDC), an organization chaired by Mrs Ibukun Awosika and managed by Mrs Detoun Ogwo. That was it. With paper magic, I squeezed out two and a half hours out of a cramped weekend schedule and planned to attend a portion of the whole event. So, when the young stakeholders in Lagos met with the Executive Governor, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, what did he say?

The Governor’s speech was very informative and interesting as he enlightened his audience with updates from the national frontiers. There were mixed questions, many of which could not be answered due to time constraints. I have taken time to put relevant chorused questions below each of the major points recorded.

“Job follows the economy as the night follows the day. Those who will drive the economy of the nation cannot be pre-existing companies. You cannot have twenty ExxonMobils or MTNs but you can have 20,000 massage parlours.”

Question: How will you tackle the problem of multiple taxing? Why should both Lagos and Ogun state governments tax companies along Ibafo? Should they also pay taxes to the federal government?

“The Nigerian economy has performed well to an extent in the areas of entertainment, downstream petroleum, banking, aviation, telecoms. But these areas are not labour intensive.”

Question: So what is the government doing to support indigenous private companies that are struggling to provide labour intensive opportunities? Dunlop folded up in Nigeria because of electricity. Lekki Toll Gate fare is too expensive for the average Nigerian who reportedly lives on less than one dollar a day. Can you tell us something we don't already know?

“The UAE has spent $53 billion this year alone on food importation. Nigerians, despite the fact that we travel to Dubai a lot have not participated in that exchange.”

Question: Good observation sir. How many Nigerians who are below the “fake” middle class of the economy that we have can afford the flight ticket to Dubai? Do you know there are graduates earning thirty thousand naira as their monthly salaries even in your state?

“I have often asked myself, with things so difficult, would I have chosen prostitution instead of practising as a nurse? Where is the sense of dignity?”

Question: Very well sir. We have often asked ourselves, “Do our grey-haired leaders think we are dull or what is the explanation for someone embezzling public funds to the tune of billions going to jail for 6months? Who cannot do that?

“Your pains get to me and I am ready to do something about it. I love our Ofada rice. The rice we eat here in Nigeria is 5-12 years old in storage. The Asians eat the fresh rice, which is why they can eat it with chopsticks. I do not see why government cannot create and implement policies that regulate the importation of rice and encourage the consumption of our locally cropped Ofada rice and the likes.”

Question: It is good that you love Ofada rice and want us to be planting and eating it. Please, how we get the “intelligent” people in Abuja to understand this? How to we interpret this to them since it offers no financial rewards to the loot-rich portion of high class economy?

Thursday, 8 December 2011

National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Members in Lagos Challenge Students to Expand their Vocabulary

According to the Wikipedia, a spelling bee is a competition, where the contestants, usually children, are asked to spell English words. Each time a contestant is unable to spell a word correctly, they are eliminated and this removal process continues until an overall winner and some runner-ups emerge. And while the Wikipedia accounts that the phrase, spelling bee, was first used in 1825, the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary documents its date of original use as 1875. But regardless of the degree of precision of either date, the spelling bee concept, which allegedly originates from the United States,
has since its inception spread to other Anglophone countries of the world, where it is often observed as a national competition.

Towards developing better vocabulary power in the students of the Eti-Osa 1 Local Government (LG) in Victoria Island, the Drama Community Development Group of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Lagos State, Nigeria recently embarked on a spelling bee project in the community. The event was held simultaneously in six different classes for an approximate period of forty minutes. Almost all the students in each class participated but a total of 24 winners were given gift items, with 4 students making it through to the end in each classroom. The purpose of the event was to challenge the students to expand their vocabulary and actuate correct English spelling.

The gifts presented were sponsored by Addax Petroleum while the organisation of the contest was spearheaded by corps members Bode Olatunji, Chioma Obiora, Adewa Adeola, Farooq Kolawole, Grace Okey, Ugonma Udenze, Nike Adebayo, Agbo Raymond and Eke Kingsley. Each winner received the gift of a quality school bag for competing boldly and scaling through the preliminary stages of the contest. The corps members were moved by the students’ heavy participation because they were supposed to sit for some continuous assessment tests lately scheduled to hold after the competition. For the students of the Victoria Island Junior Secondary School, November 26, 2011 was a day of work and excitement.

Read More>> at www.cp-africa.com