Wale Jagun & Nurudeen Adebayo
-Raises fund for ICT Innovation Hub, Educational support
In its quest to further develop the ancient Imota Kingdom into a vibrant, socially active and economically prosperous modern locality, the community has set the ball rolling by launching an Education Endowment Fund to establish an lnformation, Communication and Technology Hub, Vocational Centre and also provide scholarship for brilliant indigent students.
The community launched a N250million appeal fund to put in place this educational and youth support initiatives, at the grand finale of the 37th Imota Ayayo Day Celebration held at the UPE Ground, Ebute Ajebo Road, Imota, Imota Local Council Development Area of Ikorodu Division, Lagos State, Southwest, Nigeria, on Saturday, November 11, 2023, with a series of events.
At the grand ceremony, Mr Tayo Ayinde, Chief of Staff to the Governor of Lagos, was honoured with the Imota Excellence Award, while Mr Bello Oladimeji Akeem, the Best Public School Administrator in Nigeria and Chief Biliamin Agoro, were bestowed with the Imota Service to Humanity Awards.
Dr. Shakiru Okedeyi, Chairman of the 2023 Ayayo Day Planning Committee, at the celebration, said that the main purpose of the ceremony was the launch of a N250 million Education Endowment Fund to create an innovation hub, vocational centre and offer scholarship awards to students.
“The purpose of the Education Endowment Fund is to create an Information, Communication & Technology (ICT) Innovation Hub that is self – sustaining, and we’ll also focus on providing reasonable scholarship support for brilliant indigent students, a Vocational Skill Acquisition Centre and ICT Centre”, he said.
“An ICT Innovation Hub is a space where people can come together to learn about and develop new technologies, where our youths can develop their skills and ideas, entrepreneurs can start and grow their businesses. The Innovation Hub would also benefit our community by attracting new investment and create new jobs and close the digital divide among our people.
“Today, most examination bodies are clamouring for Computer Based Examination (CBE) for their various assessments, this has been a major challenge for indigent students at the secondary school level and it requires an urgent intervention by all and sundry. Also, most restless youths without skills and unpaid employment are trooping to the suburb to perpetrate crimes; our intention is to address some of these challenges through ICT based intervention
“However, we can’t do this alone, we need the support of our community leaders, illustrious sons and daughters, and residents. Consequently, we will be looking forward to partnership and support in making our vision a reality”, he said while pleading for support.
The Executive Chairman of Imota Local Council Development Area, Hon. Wasiu Kunle Agoro, described the Ayayo Day as an avenue for reunion and review of the community’s achievements.
While stating that the community would continue to pursue infrastructural developments, the council boss also charged residents to protect the existing infrastructures.
“The lmota Ayayo day has been a lifelong occasion of this community since existence, and it is a day that takes us down to the memory lane of numerous achievements within the community. Our community has witnessed many transformation of success through which it can be said today that Imota is moving to greater heights.
“The many numerous infrastructural development within our community have pave way for many people in transiting and transacting businesses in our community ,thereby, ushering in transformation.
“Execution of developmental and infrastructural projects within our community for sustainability and peaceful co – existence will forever be our priority.
“I want to enjoin all Imota indigenes, home and abroad, to let’s have a concerted attempt towards developing our community and makes it a cynosure among others as an adage says, “Ile la ti n ko eso re ode”.
“I,therefore, want to urge all of us to be custodians of our amenities. Let it be known that we will never relent in out thrust of turning this community to an enviable status among others”.
Hon. Agoro commended the visionary leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, whom he said made developments possible in every part of the state for the formation of the LCDAs, as well as Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Oba Ajibade Bakare Agoro, the Ranodu of Imota, for their contributions to Imota’s rapid development.
The Chairman of the occasion, High Chief Adewunmi Ogunsanya, emphasized the significance of the celebration, praising the founding members and past executives for laying a solid foundation for Imota’s socio-cultural development.
He highlighted the commitment to sustaining programmes and activities for the community’s continued growth.
In his royal remarks, Oba Ajibade Mudashiru Bakare-Agoro, the Ranodu of Imota Kingdom, reflected on the community’s developmental efforts. He outlined the transformation of Imota from four major quarters to twenty-three additional quarters and settlements.
Notable projects mentioned by the monarch included : the Caleb University, Lagos State Asphalt Yard, and Rice Mill which is the largest in black Africa.
Oba Bakare-Agoro acknowledged the support of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu and two former Governors, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, towards the development of lmota.
Dr. Adekunle Awolaja, Chairman, Imota Ayayo Development Association, said that the uniqueness in this year’s celebration lies in its traditional and cultural integration, and modernity.
Others honoured with the Imota Outstanding Awards at the memorable event were: Hon. Nurudeen Solaja, Engr. Tokunbo Oyenuga, Mr Wahab Olanrewaju, Mrs Florence Adeyemi, JP., and Arch. Tajudeen Adekoya.
Also, Adebogun family Atere Quarters, Akinyemi Family Onabu Quarters, Odusanya Family Opopo Quarters, Ogunnowo Family Itunmaja Quarters and Alogba Family were honoured with the Imota Distinguished Family Award, while the Imota Students Union received the Merit Award for its contributions to the socio – economic developments of the town.
At the grand event are royal fathers, top government functionaries and eminent guests.
The 37th Ayayo Day was celebrated with enthusiasm, showcasing Imota’s commitment to unity, development, and cultural preservation.