“The world is witnessing tremendous changes and our Club must not be left behind”, he says.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Friday hosted members of the Executive and Management Committee of Island Club in his office commending its leadership for the restoration of peace and stability to the 70-year-old institution.
Addressing the members who had come to present the Club’s programme for its 70th anniversary including a proposed multi-level parking lot to be built near the Club site, Governor Fashola noted with joy that members could now sit down and discuss developmental issues as a result of the peace and the stability that now reign in the Club.
“It is obvious to see that for almost six years or more we never sat down together as a Club to discuss developmental issues because there was no peace. Now, it is only in the era of peace that you can begin to plan for the future”, the Governor said, adding, “You have my very warm felicitations for the stability that you have brought back to the Club and you have my support for the development that is clearly following stability”.
Thanking all those “who have worked in one way or the other to midwife that peace”, the Governor declared, “I hope that hard lesson have been learnt. As I have said, the Club is bigger than any of us and our aspirations and desires to serve must never jeopardize the development of the Club”.
On the proposed multi-level parking space, Governor Fashola commended the vision of the current management of the Club for the brilliant initiative which, according to him, would go a long way in solving “what has been a long-drawn issue, a parking for members which has, in no small way, affected attendance and membership”.
The Governor, who noted that the project when realized would be tantamount to “dealing many blows with one strike’, however, cautioned that all of the regulatory issues relating to title to the land and planning approval should be dealt with first, as, according to him, “As regulator and as head of your Government, I must not be seen to lend my hand to what does not conform to the laws of our State”.
He said his administration has also conceived a similar project at a site opposite the Yoruba Tennis Club at the Boyle Street Junction, a project which he said suffered a commencement delay but has now taken off adding that the two projects would complement each other “to create a pedestrian area in that place which essentially what it has become, a place for festivals, parties, Fanti-Carnivals and also a destination for young people in the city mall and so on and so forth”.
Pledging his support to the project both as member of the Club and head of Government, Governor Fashola noted, “Members, whether of the Yoruba Club, Island Club or even visitors to Muson when it spills over can drive down, park their cars in a place where they know is save and walk down the distance”.
He paid glowing tributes to the founding fathers of the Club for their vision and their farsightedness adding, “I think that if they could see, certainly, this is something that has become bigger than they probably themselves could envision”.
The Governor urged the Club Management, “We are currently torchbearers and as torchbearers, our responsibility would be to dream bigger dreams beyond what we ourselves can see today; to position the Club into a more dynamic institution that is ready to deal in and to compete beyond the 21st Century”.
“So many processes of businesses, of interactions are changing. You, the Chairman, perhaps more than anybody else, will know this given your relationship with your Japanese partners in terms of changes that the world is seeing and our Club must not be left behind”, the Governor said.
Wishing all the members of the Club “a very happy 70th anniversary”, Governor Fashola thanked the Management of the Club for the courtesy of the visit, commending them “for the understanding and forbearance in the time that it has taken to bring together this meeting”.
Earlier in his opening remarks, Chairman of the Club, Prince Demola Dada, thanked the Governor for providing uninterrupted power supply to the Club through the Independent Power Project in the Island expressing pride that the Club was one of the institutions to benefit from the project.
He said his administration has been at high gear to ensure a befitting 70th anniversary celebration of the Club adding that all the 10 programmes lined up for the anniversary were planned to raise fund for the Multi-level Parking project which, according to him, would cost N840.1 million.
The Chairman said some of the programmes which have already taken place had been very successful in terms of fund generation adding that the Club hoped to recoup the cost of the project within seven years of its completion after which it would become a revenue-yielding source for the Club.
Highlight of the occasion was the presentation of the design of the Multi-level Parking project by the architect who explained to the Governor and the audience that each floor of the seven-story packing space would accommodate 24 vehicles.
Also present at the occasion were the Chief of Staff, Mr. Lanre Babalola, Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr. Wale Ahmed and his Transportation, Rural Development, Energy and Mineral Resources and Physical Planning and Urban Development counterparts, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, Mr. Cornelius Ojelabi, Engineer Taofeek Tijani and Town Planner Olutoyin Ayinde on the State Government side while the Island Club Chairman was accompanied by his Vice, Alhaji Deji Salako, Club General Secretary, Mr. Diji Vera-Cruz, Treasurer, Mr. Dan Femi Aborowa and Social Secretary Aare Kamarudeen Ajao Danjuma among others.