By Jacob Obalola
The Junior Chambers International (JCI) is an international non-governmental organisation for young people between the ages of 18 and 40. JCI’s main objective is to produce young leaders for the development of their communities while the greatest goal of the organisation is to achieve everlasting peace in every community and in the whole world. JCI Nigeria started 60 years ago and the current National President of the organization is a prolific, intelligent and resourceful Chemical Engineer turned Insurance Broker, Richard Ojo Babajide.
Babajide Ojo has promised to turn JCI Nigeria to an agent of community and national development with his Turning Point Agenda for current presidential year.
According to him: “The turning point wheel is more or less like a four section wheel that is moving in the positive direction of projecting our organisation in the way it is supposed to be among other youth organisations in Nigeria.
“ The four major components is the vision and values of the organisation which we believe that if our members can live or they learn by heart, the visions and values of the organisation, it is going to have a lot to do to their integrity and their value in the society.”
JCI Nigeria President who is a member of JCI-ASO, a local organisation based in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, hit the ground running after his inauguration as President by visiting local organizations across the country, especially in the South-south, South East Area of JCI Nigeria to obtain first hand information on the status of local organisations and identify with the members toward revitalization of JCI in the two zones.
The visit is already yielding fruits as the National Executive committee is currently looking at critical issues identified in order to take right decision in the interest of the organisation and members nationwide.
The achievements of Ekiti-born philanthropist who joined JCI as a student are too numerous to be ignored while his outstanding leadership skills has resulted to an increased awareness about the organisation across the country.
Evidently, JCI Nigeria has completed the first phase of the Leprosy campaign under the leadership of Richard.
The commitment and passion of Richard Ojo to JCI affairs clearly shows he sincerely meant his words for the presidential year.
“My own decision to run was premised on having viewed what was going on in the organisation. I thought I must give back to the organisation through my time and service to the development of this institution.’’ He said.
Furthermore, the current JCI-Nigeria President who had served in various capacities between 2003 to 2016 both at collegate, local and national levels amongst which are, 2011 JCI-ASO President, 2013 Chairman, National Presidential Swearing in Committee, 2014 National Vice President (North East), 2015 National Executive Vice President (2015) and the National General Legal Counsel (2016).
He is indeed committed to the Turning Point Agenda to re-organising National organisation with optimum service to the members and calculated expectation in the next five years.
In his first 100 days in office, JCI Nigeria organized a Leadership Academy for leaders of Local organisations to educate and train them on how to make the JCI more effective and efficient. The delegates that attended training were encouraged to embrace the new slogan “Do it Right” in their activities. The JCI President while speaking to journalists after the event, commended the leadership of the Senate, Union Bank PLC (sponsor of the events) and JCI Senator Simbi Wabote.
The Chemical Engineer turned Insurance Broker also called on members to always interact with national body and make contribute idea/inputs via email@example.com.
The success story of JCI Nigeria has attracted commendation from the international body as the Chairman of the Nippon Foundation will be visiting Nigeria for the first time in 2018 to confirm impact made and also interact with JCI Nigeria members.
He stated that JCI Nigeria over the years has been contributing to communities and national development through various activities of members.
“Basic actions in which our members took part in years past saw the Federal Government keying into them. For example, it was the JCI members that came up with operation one million cans which the Lagos state government later adopted as sanitation and it later become a federal government exercise in which most states shut down their states to clean the environment. This is one giant step in which we have seen young people take steps that affect their societies.
“Before the issue of climate change started, we had seen a lot in which JCI members played critical roles. If you go to Obafemi Awolowo Way in Lagos you will see a lot of trees. These trees were planted in the 80s by JCI members and today those trees make that place beautiful and balances the ecosystem in that areas. These are some of the things that JCI had carried out over the years,’’ he added.
Time Nigeria also learnt that JCI Benin recently organized an event where over 1000 youths of the state were trained on “Thinking Out of Recession”. Participants were exposed to information on how to revamp Nigeria’s economy.
Under the charismatic leadership of Richard Ojo, the organisation recorded success at the South West Conference that took place in Lekki, Lagos and Enugu in the Eastern axis. Of the association 2017 Collegiate Conference tagged Ndi’Eze that took place in May and the 2017 South South and Eastern Conference tagged WAWA 2017 Pfollowed in June. As promised, both conferences were actually a good outing for JCI members and another platform to showcase what JCI stands for in the locality of Enugu town.
With the global organisation’s resolution to continuously connect all sectors of society in order to touch more lives, JCI Benin Metropolitan flagged-off the phase II Back to School Project at Owina Primary School, Iduowina Quarters, Benin City on the 13th of June, 2017.
Where NEEDS analysis was conducted by a Committee set up to execute the phase II Back to School Project which enabled JCI Worldwide to have an ample and first-hand information of what the Pupils/Students need.
To the pupils/students and teachers of Owina Primary School, it was a joyous and happy moment to host members of JCI Nigeria.
At the event, JCI Nigeria sensitised pupils and students moral values, while school sandals and writing materials as well as JCI customised notebooks and mathematical sets were distributed.
National President, JCI was also among the country’s leaderships at the 2017 Africa and Middle East Conference, AMEC, , in Sousse Tunisia.
All members of JCI Nigeria are forward-looking to witness the ‘August’ Diamond Anniversary of the global organisation at 60.
The National President is appreciative of the committee’s effort towards the successful the impactful celebration.
According to Richard Ojo, “I personally commend the unwavering efforts of the committee to plan and implement for a memorable celebration marking the 60th years of JCI’s debut in Nigeria.