It is with deep sense of humility & grateful heart that I stand before you all to present this speech.
Let me first & foremost thank God for his mercies and compassion over the entire Teachers of Ikorodu. I am also grateful to you all for giving the current Exco of NUT Ikorodu the opportunity to serve. The mandate given to us in 2017 bore good fruits and part of it is what we are witnessing today. The opportunity given to us was as a result of the confidence reposed in us individually and collectively.
I hope the support will continue for us to continuously perform & excel in all ramification of our activities.
On our own part, we have made a covenant that the confidence reposed on us will be jealously guided, protected and be seen to be adequately upheld for the betterment of all members & non-members alike who at one time or the other have recourse to this Cooperative for assistance.
Let me state here that the moment I got your mandate to paddle the ship of the great Union in May 2017 ,what quickly came to my mind was how to quickly carry out a program that will have immediate & future (Long term) impact on the lives of our members while in the classroom & after retirement. This was at the time when the economic environment in global perspectives has not been encouraging. This has trickle effects on the economics of African countries of which our dear Nation is not an exemption. The continuous fluctuations in the exchange rate, increase in the general price level especially in the area of increased cost of transportation , increased tariff in other sectors, dwindling state of revenue accruable to the national purse arising from the monolithic nature of the Economy where the price of crude oil has not only fallen in the international market but the production capacity of same is currently at a low ebb & other negative economic indices are evidences of operating in a very harsh environment.
It is therefore noteworthy that despite all these variables of economic imbalances, the average worker’s salary remain grossly inadequate to cope with the realities of our contemporary demand. It became virtually impossible for an average Nigerian Worker to cope with domestic consumption of the immediate family members, including funding of education bills of School Children & settlement of Home utility bills etc.
It was the summation of these indices that necessitated the formation of NUT Ikorodu Branch CMS, one of my Seven points agenda, so that resources can be pooled together to meet the needs of Members both for immediate and the nearest future.
Let me seize this opportunity to salute the Courage & doggedness of an average Worker who echoes the slogan of* “If you save, you will broke and if you don’t save you will be broke”* This goes a long way to attest to the fact that Workers still take time to prepare for the rainy days no matter how little it may be within the available disposable income. Today we have over 1500 membership strength with a strong capital base and still growing. We have in place a Coop House which will serve as the secretariat of NUT Ikorodu Cooperative Multipurpose Society.
Let me also remind you that I repeatedly place emphasis on the fact that we wish to establish a ‘Welfare Coop’ and not a dividend Coop where members suffer High Interest rates in order to collect High Dividends. Our interest rates of 2% and 4% remains one of the lowest in Lagos. The Loan, Retirement Saving Scheme, Target, Education Fund, Solar, Food sales, Salah and Xmas support and other activities initiated by the IMC remains one of the best in Lagos State.
I wish to appreciate God for this great feat in the annals of History of our great Union. I am indebted to Teachers and all that contributed towards the emergence of the fastest growing Cooperative in Lagos State
I cannot end this speech without giving a special reference to the most indefatigable and enterprising Branch Executive Council of NUT Ikorodu for the support given during the selection process of the Interim Management Committee of CMS. As a matter of fact, the IMC headed by Mr Oyewole Olusegun Abeeb (Baba Cooperative) was selected through inspiration from God.
They took the Coop from Zero Point to an envious level within 2 years of Existence. I therefore seek your indulgence that we all give a standing ovation to these great men and women. My happiness is of two folds. 1. I am happy to see my dream comes true and 2. I am happy to see Teachers exploring the gateway to financial freedom.
Let me assure you all that as God liveth, we shall protect the existence of this Coop with the fear of God and every instruments available to Nigeria Union of Teachers Ikorodu Branch. Our Coop must always be manned and controlled by men and women of Integrity and Credibility. I wish to also enjoin you not to exercise fear about its future. The future is already guaranteed by the one that owns heaven and earth and there are well established process laid down on succession systems. There will always be good men and women on earth to continue our Vision.
Let me be emphatic about the vision. We hope to see the Coop transform to Teachers Micro Finance Bank in no distant future. It will be the first Teachers Bank in Nigeria.
I also wish to use this opportunity to inform all those that are yet to join us to please take a bold step today. The small Coop you see today is going to be the biggest soon. We will continue to advice the management to engage in activities that will add values to Teachers lives. Since it’s also OUR Coop, you are always welcome to give suggestions. We must all see it as Our Common Heritage.
Finally, I wish to state with all sense of humility that the entire 7 point Agenda that we promised in 2017 has been achieved. Today we are happy that the status of Teachers of Ikorodu has been enhanced. We shall continue to do our best for men and women of Noble Profession
I welcome you all to a fruitful Annual General Meeting. May the good lord keep us for the subsequent ones. Amen!
Comrade Fakolade Oluwafemi Oluwaseun JP