For the record: SPEECH BY OLUFUNKE FADUGBA CHAIRMAN OF JOURNALISTS’ ESTATE RESIDENTS DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION, JERDA, PHASE ONE AT THE TURNING OF SOD OF JIS NEW BUILDING ON 29TH DECEMBER, 2019.
Let me on behalf of the over 300 residents of the Journalists’ Estate Phase 1, owners of Journalists’ International Schools welcome you all particularly our fathers, our benefactors and our mentors for being here today.
Let me also thank all residents that even if the destination seems unclear, they have demonstrated confidence sufficient enough to drive the political wiheel of the estate.
For our parents and learners we thank you that inspite of various challenges associated with a human organistaion like the school, you still find us trust worthy of your confidence and the enviable future of our children.
Permit me to go down memory lane a bit that this estate both phases one and two was conceptualized in 2002 using the platform of the Nigeria Union of Journalists’ Lagos State Council to have a community inhabited by Journalists’ who had hither to been the laughing stock of society.
I want to publicly acknowledge the great intervention from the Ogun State government under Aremo Olusegun Osoba who used his executive powers to guarantee our stay at this present location for the coming into existence of “deeper journalism community” now known as Journalists’ Estate phases 1 and 2 as well as its extension. Equally worth mentioning is the issue of waiver, former Governor Gbenga Daniel sealed the good work of Aremo Osoba by granting us waiver on ground rent substantially to make the dream of home of our own a reality.
I must acknowledge the foresight and Philanthropic nature of Otunba Olusegun Runsewe who when the estate had less than ten inhabitants committed his resources to build the first school structure with borehole without any strings attached.
My standing here today is historic as the head of the team that established the two estates, destiny has beckoned on me and I am today the chairman of the estate development association.
I acknowledge the foundational and sustaining efforts of my predecessors as chairman of JERDA particularly John Ajayi led executive for starting the school in August 2014, seven years after Otunba Runsewe had donated the first school building, 10 years after the first set of owner- occupiers moved into the estate in 2004 and 9 years after the first baby in the estate was born.
Journalists’ International Schools started with 9 teachers, 2 non-teaching staff, and 38 children but today to the glory of God JIS has 156 learners with a prospect to have a junior secondary arm and 26 teaching and non-teaching staff.
JIS with the motto: “The future starts here” has a mission to bring minds that will harness every available opportunity to be qualitative children and citizens of this country.
JIS is a school where, over the past 5 years and still counting, every child who wants to attain world class education and develop his/her potentials is attending and must attend.
We have committed management and teachers providing an uncommon academic success, excellence and upholding high moral values for all pupils.
Using a government approved curriculum made up of a wide range of subjects and relevant extra-curricular activities, we prepare our learners to excel in external examinations.
The services at JIS are qualitative, our environment serene, very conducive as pedestals where the future begins for the pupils.
Journalists’ International schools, is a privately owned community school which primes itself as a brand that gives high quality education service even while serving to meet the needs of not only children of Journalists’ and residents but also those in the immediate environment at moderate charges.
This new building is to meet the growing needs of the school in terms of space, rebranding, and expanding its scope.
May I inform this gathering of some of the infrastructural efforts of this executive.
We came on board in March 2018 and to date we have worked on the estate civic centre to roofing stage after it had been abandoned for 4years. Our hope is to possibly roof it in the New Year either as an estate or through joint efforts of some residents.
Equally, we put in place a drainage system on the main road to de-flood the estate. This executive also remodeled the JIS to upgrade its infrastructure.
This executive as part of its commitment to build understanding in the estate introduced Closed Users Group phone and established a WhatsApp group to promote the businesses of residents by offering a platform for seamless buying and selling.
In the area of security, we have beefed up our internal security personnel, introduced training and retaining for them as well solarised our main street light in a first phase of lightening up the estate.
Beyond physical infrastructure, this executive engaged in human development capacity building through the organisation of skills acquisition program for our youth, rescued and rehabilitated three girls, two from sexual assault and the other from parental abuse.
Gladly, Isioma and Bilikisu , the sexually abused and emotionally traumatized have been reconnected with their families and one is now happily married.
As for Glory, she is now in a high brow school being sponsored by a Resident while in the care of NAPTIP.
Before rounding up sirs, permit me to urge the government at all levels to do more to guarantee citizens security. In Arepo here we need the presence of government in the area of health facility as there is non in this community. As a border community we should not be neglected in the scheme of things.
For my executive let me encourage you with the words of Sheri. L. Dew that “True leaders understand that leadership is not about them but about those they serve. It is not about exalting themselves but about lifting others up”.
Let us continue in serving till the end of our tenure not minding the attitude of some of those we are serving since God is the greatest rewarder.
Thank you all.