BIFOBA President's Annual Report
Mr. Feyisola Dinyo: BIFOBA President
GLOBAL PRESIDENT’S REPORT (YEAR 2014)
Fellow Old Boys,
Compliments of the Season. Gradually Year 2014 has rolled to its end and I am certain we are all looking forward to 2015 with high expectations.
In 2014, our Association fared better than the previous year although not without the usual disagreements and petty issues which we have learnt to overcome.
BIFOBA HEADQUARTERS (NIGERIA)
The National Headquarters continued to wax stronger and remained formidable, as the National Executive Council (Exco) in Lagos recorded a very successful year. Practically all the National Exco’s set goals for 2014 were achieved as there were less distraction this year.
1. MULTIPURPOSE AUDITORIUM
The Multipurpose Auditorium construction whose contract was awarded late 2013
kicked off in earnest in December 2013 and in a record time of 5 months (20 weeks) the physical structure was put in place to such an extent that BIFOBA’s Annual Homecoming slated for 31st May, 2014 took place in the School Premises and in the Auditorium for the 1st time although in its uncompleted state.
Approximately N90.0million has been expended on the Auditorium and the Association is looking at an additional N50.0million to complete the Auditorium to taste as designed by our Architects. We enjoin all Old Boys through their Class Sets to work with Exco to bring the Auditorium to a quick completion and hand same over to professional Facility Managers to begin to generate Income commercially on a monthly basis to assist in basis to maintaining our School’s infrastructures and to run BIFOBA’s affairs notably. The Commercial capability and Income generating potential of the Auditorium was put to test this December as an Old Boy and member of Exco Mr. Olise Nwachukwu got married in the Auditorium at it’s uncompleted state for a Fee. Exco is hopeful that when the Auditorium is completed regular and tangible Income will be generated for lease/hire of the Auditorium to third parties on a commercial basis. The most impressive thing about the Auditorium though is that it was designed by an Old Boy, constructed by the Firm of an Old Boy and was supervised from scratch to the level it is by a Committee of Old Boys. The Auditorium’s construction is therefore totally from the sweat and efforts of members of our Association.
2. SCHOOL FENCE
National Exco promised to put pressure on the Ministry of Education to fence the School and prevent miscreants from taking over same. I am glad to report that our School (the undisputed portion) has today been fenced and control of Students and Visitors to the School has improved tremendously.
3. JUNIOR SCHOOL NEW CLASSROOM BLOCK
As part of Exco’s efforts towards redesigning the School to take full advantage of the small space available, the Ministry of Education, having been impressed by the efforts of Old Boys in the construction of the Multipurpose Auditorium reciprocated Old Boys’ gesture by announcing the award of a new 19 Classroom School Block for BFHS’ Junior School. Foundation for the new Junior School Block has been completed and as I write, the laying of Sandcrete blocks is on-going. On completion of the Block our School will boast of 2 new classroom buildings; the existing 29 Classroom Block for the senior school and the recently awarded one for the junior school.
With the new Senior and Junior Classroom Blocks, together with the Multipurpose Auditorium, BFHS’s Façade and Outlook will be completely different and should become something excellent to behold and a Pride to all Old Boys’ and Students alike.
4. BFHS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE
During the year given the constant problems and obvious personal distractions the Principal of the Senior School Mr. Agbonjimi had which had impacted negatively on the Academic performance of the students to the point where the School recorded just 6.0% success rate in WASC and having warned the Principal severally on his display of incompetence and lack of commitment, National Exco, alongside the Parents Forum petitioned the Ministry of Education requesting for the removal of Mr. Agbonjimi. The petition was considered by the Ministry and Mr. Agbonjimi, the Principal and shortly after, his Vice Principal were removed from the School while a new Principal, Mr. T. O. Adeosun was deployed to the School. Mr. Adeosun has shown a lot of commitment to our School’s Ideals and his administration is being heavily supported by Exco, given his observed willingness to work with Exco to improve the Academic fortunes of our School for better.
I am glad to report that Mr. Adeosun presence and commitment has already showing on the School’s performance as success rate in the last WASC rose from the 6.0% in 2013 to 37.0% in 2014, with a potential to get better in the years ahead if Mr Adeosun continues with the Policies and Strategies put in place for success of the students by the combined team of the School’s teaching of staff, BIFOBA Exco and the Parents Forum.
5. BIFOBA HEADQUARTER ANNUAL HOMECOMING
Year 2014’s Homecoming tagged “ the Real Homecoming” was moved from the usual last Saturday in April to 31st May, (last Saturday in May) to enable the Event hold in the Multipurpose Auditorium. I congratulate the underlisted 2 Old Boys admitted into BIFOBAs’Guild of Awardees this year:
(i) Mr. Sami Bamidele Omai (1975 Set). A Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN) and Chairman/CEO of Omai International Ltd. Mr. Omai is a notable Old Boy who is on the Board of several companies in and outside Nigeria. Mr. Omai was conferred with the Award of Excellence in the area of Business Management and Entrepreneurship.
(ii) Arc. Ladipo Adeseye Lewis (1983 Set), aside of being Vice President (Govt Affairs) in BIFOBA National Exco, he is the current Chairman of the Nigeria Institute of Architects (Lagos Chapter). Arc. Lewis designed our Multipurpose Auditorium and his Firm has remained the Consulting the Architects for the Auditorium Project since inception, which project his Firm has supervised done “GRATIS” for BIFOBA. Arc. Lewis was conferred with an Award of Excellence for Extra- ordinary display of commitment to BIFOBA and BFHS.
6. 2015 FOUNDERS DAY & HOMECOMING EVENT
On 6th February, 2015, our School will turn 55 years. Since 55 years is a milestone Year, ordinarily it should be a major celebration, which would have required the Homecoming for the year to be fast-forwarded and celebrated on the Saturday immediately after the Founder’s Day. Given the above, the Founders Day will be celebrated on Friday 6th February, 2015. The Homecoming should therefore be held on Saturday 7th February, 2015. Indications however are to the effect that the Governorship elections in the Country have been scheduled by INEC (the Electoral Committee) for the same Saturday 7th February, 2015. Given that movements will be restricted on the Governorship Election day till about 6.30pm, scheduling the Homecoming for the same day will naturally affect success of the Event. Exco has therefore resolved to celebrate the Founder’s Day on 6th February, 2015 while the Homecoming has been reverted to the last Saturday in April (i.e Saturday 25th April 2015).
All Old Boys (in Nigeria and Diaspora) should please keep the date in view. All usual activities of the Homecoming including nominations for consideration of admittance into the Guild of Awardees will remain on-going. Full details will be circulated by the Chairman of the Awards Committee at the appropriate time. I enjoin all old boys to watch-out and take part in the nominations for admittance consideration to the Guild.
(i) U.K CHAPTER
The UK Chapter’s contribution to the development of BFHS and BIFOBA received a boost this year as the Chapter sponsored the “Labors of Love” (Now Governmental Organisation) provision of Medical Screening and supply of medication (where needed) to Students and staff of Birch Freeman. The exercise, monitored by National Exco was extremely successful and students/staff alike are looking forward to a repetition in 2015, which the UK Chapter’s President Mr. Theo Odunlami has promised will be an Annual event sponsored by the UK Chapter. The Chapter had a successful year but not without intra Exco wranglings during the year which got to a point where the Chapter’s Exco was dissolved and a Caretaker Committee had to be appointed on the advice of the National Headquarters to run the Chapters affairs for a short period and organize fresh elections. Another Election exercise was conducted and Mr. Theo Odunlami re-emerged as President with Dan Okoturo as his Vice President alongside other members of the Team. The New UK Exco is back in operation, organized an End of Year party this December which reports confirm was very successful with several new Old boys in attendance.
Mr. Odunlami has been discussing with the National Exco and have intimated of plans by U.K Chapter for Year 2015 which if implemented will be extremely laudable and beneficial to BIFOBA and BFHS.
(ii) N. A. CHAPTER
The N.A Chapter has also had a very successful year. The Chapter’s usual Re-union, which was very well attended, took place this year in Tenessee Mr. Niyi Fagbamiye, the Chapter’s President and his Team in Exco were able to increase the Chapter’s membership by bringing on board fresh Old Boys living in America. The Chapter’s own commitment to the overall development of BIFOBA and BFHS was demonstrated through the donation of 1000 copies of Dictionary/Gazetteer to the Junior School in BFHS. I am made to understand that various other developmental projects are being considered by the Chapter while the Chapter continues to manage our bifoba.com website. I cannot but mention the demise of a devoted and committed member of the Chapter who doubled as the bifoba.com Webmaster; the late Mr. David Lowo. Mr. Lowo aside of being the Webmaster and erstwhile Publicity Secretary of the by N.A Chapter, he was a distinguished member of BIFOBA’s Guild of Awardees. Mr. Lowo passed on May this year. May his Soul continue to rest in peace.
Since his passing, management of the bifoba.com Website has been taken over by the duo of Messrs Alli Oseni and Foluso Adeyemi. These Gentlemen have continued to make sure that the bifoba.comwebsite is functional and alive to meet Old boys’ expectations and provide the necessary platform for old boys to continue to interact and receive information being disseminated from time to time. Bifoba generally continues to expect a lot more contribution (in this New Year and beyond) from the N.A Chapter given that the Chapter is the oldest and larger of all the Chapters.
The Chapter still exists largely only on paper, although the 2 Old boys based in Belgium and the one in France jointly sponsoring the formation and take-off of the Chapter have repeatedly called for my visit to Belgium which is pencilled to be the Chapter’s Headquarters. National Exco members however are still of the view that the membership strength is not large enough to warrant my visit to Belgium. My Colleagues in Exco are of the view that the Gentle in Belgium and France need to intensify efforts in recruiting more Old boys all over Europe until a minimum membership strength of 10 is achieved
In conclusion, of my 2014 Report, I wish to thank Old Boys for all the support extended to me and my colleagues in National Exco for the successful management of BIFOBA and its affairs worldwide and also for their commitment to their individual Chapters Exco’s as well as the overall contribution to the development of BIFOBA and BFHS.
I urge old boys not to relent in working with all Exco (National and Diaspora) to restore Birch Freeman High School’s pride of place among the committee of good schools and most importantly, for Old boys to join members of their Class Sets towards contributing the N50.0 million Fund needed to complete the Auditorium. It should be every single Old Boys Responsibility, Challenge and Pride for any Old Boys to enter into the Auditorium with pride and say “we built this Auditorium”. This is the least of the reasonable service expected of all Old Boys of Birch Freeman High School.
Here is therefore wishing all Old Boys Happy Holidays and a prosperous/fruitful 2015 as we chant our slogan “Birch Freeman is changing and BIFOBA is moving ahead”.
Yours most sincerely