As Nigeria celebrates one year of polio–free caseloads, the Rotary International, District 9125, said it would spend N2.5 billion in the next 12 months on humanitarian projects in Nigeria.
The newly-inaugurated governor of the District, Pharm. Mike Omotosho, made this promise in Abuja, recently.
Omotosho said his administration would focus on human based projects in the area of surgical intervention like polio corrective surgery, cleft lip surgery, Vesico Viginal Fistula, VVF, surgery and also sink boreholes in some communities.
“But, the most important priority for me as governor will be the change agenda. There is a whole lot of noise about change. Somehow, I believe, Rotary has the panacea that we need to make the change truly happen. It is the guiding principle of Rotary, with the four-way test: the thing we think, say or do. This can truly be applied profitably to our individual lives, to our businesses, communities, to nations, even at the international level.
“It can also be used for proposed legislation in government, even relationships between students and teachers. Once you are able to subject your thought process, the things you want to say or the things you do to the four-way test, it will guide you to the way you relate with the other person. It is the four way for the things we say or do.
‘’That is, is it the truth? If it passes that test, you move to the second one; will it be fair to all concerned? If it passes the second one, you move to the third one: will it be beneficial to all concerned? And, will it build goodwill and better friendship?’’ he stated.
Omotoso disclosed that the district had made arrangements for 500 shelter boxes for Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in the country, explaining that each of the shelter boxes contains the basic needs of an IDP. He further hinted that Rotary was working to integrate the IDPs into the society through gainful employment.
While urging more Nigerians to join the group, he said non-Rotarians could also embark on various humanitarian projects in communities to make life more comfortable for the less privileged.
Omotosho, who took over from his predecessor, Tolu Omatsola, is expected to head the district for one year.
“We would be leveraging on the achievements of our past leaders and my visions for Rotary in District 9125 are summarised into four areas: “To increase the number of clubs and members in our district with the singular aim of re-distributing; be massively involved in bigger, bolder and better projects across the district; to increase the district’s contribution to Rotary Foundation and leave a legacy of the Rotary House. This year’s theme is “Be a Gift to the World” and Nigeria needs a gift of change.”
Also a former President, Rotary International, Jonathan Majiyagbe, has urged all stakeholders working on polio in the country to sustain the current one-year-polio-free status.
Majiyagbe said increased immunisation and vigilance would earn Nigeria a polio-free certificate by the World Health Organisation.
“We are very happy that we have gone this far. But, then, there are challenges. We still have to maintain routine immunisation; we have to be accurate with our surveillance. Those are the things we need to do so that within the next two years, we don’t have any case of polio. And, then, we can have certification for Nigeria and indeed Africa to be a polio-free region.”

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