THEME- RESOLVING THE NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT QUESTION.
His Excellency, Engr. Seyi Makinde, the Governor of Oyo State, his Deputy-Governor, Engr. Rauf Olaniyan, their entourage, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, Friends of The Vale, my colleagues -fellow Schoolowners, Parents, Teachers, our invited delegates and Staff Advisers, members of the print and electronic media, thank you for attending the Opening Ceremony of this history-making event, the first of its kind in Oyo State and indeed, Nigeria.
On behalf of the Board of Governors, Management, Staff and Students of The Vale College and The Vale Tutorial College, we appreciate you for attending and participating in TVC’s 1st Model National Conference. This is the first event we are having this term, to mark the 25th anniversary of our College, which comes up on 7th November.
We bless God for keeping and upholding all of us and our college, which was founded on Monday 7th November 1994. It is by His grace that we have not been consumed these 25 years. Blessed be His Holy Name, Alleluia! We thank Him for carrying us through the highs and lows of running a private secondary school in Nigeria. The fact that we are not just merely standing but thriving is a testimony of God’s grace and mercies. To Him be all the glory. We are also assured that our latter days will be even more glorious, in Jesus’ Name.
In March 2013, students of The Vale College were invited as delegates to the 1st Model African Union Conference, at the African Leadership Academy, in South Africa. The conference was the brainchild of one of today’s speakers, Mr. Faith Abiodun, the current Director of Marketing and Recruitment at ALA.
Faith, was our Founders’ Day Speaker in 2010 and had taught Elocution and Public Speaking in our college. The conference in South Africa, was very well-organised. I had attended with the current Head of School of The Vale Tutorial College, Mr. Billy OLADIMEJI and 5 delegates from The Vale College. Every year since 2013, our college has sent delegates and Staff Advisors, sometimes sending 2 teams of 5 delegates each to
the ALAMAU (African Leadership Academy Model African Union) Conference. At the 5th conference, last year, our College was given the Pillar of Africa Award, being the only school that had attended the yearly conference from inception. To date, we are the first and only school in Ibadan to participate in this international conference with students/ delegates from every continent and every African country in attendance.
Since that first conference, I came back thoroughly inspired by the phenomenal work done by Mr. Faith Abiodun, his team and the students at ALA that I decided that we should have a Nigerian version of the conference. I have been harassing Mr. Oladimeji since then, and I am so glad that this dream has finally become a reality. Thank you Mr. Oladimeji and the Organising Committee for the birthing the vision of this Model National Conference. I also thank the Principal, Mr. I.O.O Akanbi, the Vice-Principal , Mr. Olusegun John Olatunji,and all members of the Organising Committee.
This conference is titled, ‘ Resolving the National Development Question’. For us at TVC, it is about Nigerian children learning about our country, Nigeria, the 36 states (each delegate represents a different state from their own state origin) and the Federal Capital Territory. They find out what the problems in the states are in areas such as Education, Health, Security, Good Governance etc and offer solutions, thereby changing the narrative that our children don’t know what is going on and are too young to lead.
If we believe that our children are our future leaders, we should prepare them now, for leadership roles, give them a platform to air their views on the state of our nation and let them showcase the Nigeria of their dream and what they can do about it. If we don’t start changing the narrative today, tomorrow be too late. This is the background to this Conference, it is not a competition- children compete every day,-it is a collaborative exercise where children cooperate, learn and work together in the committees of the States they represent. Hopefully, when they occupy leadership positions in government and their chosen professions, they would have acquired the lifeskill of collaboration, discussing, agreeing to disagree and learning from one another.
We thank all the invited schools who have sent delegates to this maiden edition of what we hope will be a biennial or annual conference henceforth. We appreciate the faith and commitment you have shown in our College and your students /delegates, and we hope we meet and even exceed your expectations. I know with the success of this debut edition, more schools will join us at future conferences. I appreciate my colleagues in APAPPSS- Association of Proprietors of Accredited Private Secondary Schools, Oyo State, for collaborating with us for the successful outcome of this Conference, God bless you and all our schools, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
I am very happy that this Conference is a major activity celebrating the 25th anniversary of our college. The Bible says ‘by their fruits ye shall know them’. I am very proud to showcase my fruits, my Alumni. We are the first and only private secondary school in Nigeria that can boast of producing the Youngest Speaker in Nigeria, Rt. Honorable Adebo Ogundoyin, Hon. Speaker of the House of Assembly, Oyo State. He was the Speaker at our 2018 Finalists’ Luncheon. From our very small beginnings in 1994, God showed Himself that He had a bigger and greater platform for our Debo, and TVC was his training ground. We are proud of him and we know that God will take him to greater heights, in Jesus’ Name. Amen. Debo and his siblings, Toye and Remi are all TVC Alumni.
The Vale College is already producing leaders. We have the incontrovertible evidence that the 3rd most important elected person in Oyo State, is an alumnus of TVC! To God be all the glory. We know there are more emerging leaders at this conference today, and this is a forum for them to hone their leadership skills and to be mentored by other young leaders.
The other speakers are also TVC Alumni. Ms. Yewande Akinola who received an award from the Queen of England for being one of the best Under 30 Female Engineers, is an alumna of TVC. She won the Founders’ Scholarship for 2 consecutive years, in 1999 and 2000.
She was also Head Girl in her set. Yewande has always been a prodigy and we are proud to say, like all our alumni, she continues to shine like a star in the universe, in the engineering field internationally and she inspires younger girls and women to dream and be innovative engineers like her and to also be the best versions of themselves. She and Faith Abiodun will be joining us at the conference by Skype. Thank God for technology and innovation.
The other two speakers are Mrs. Zahra Abdulkareem nee Akinpeju (whose 3 other siblings are also TVC Alumni) and Mr Kayode Adegbola. Zahra and Kayode started TVC on the same day, in September 2001. They are both multiple entrepreneurs and professionals who are making great impact in their generation and chosen fields. Zahra is a Business Strategist, Content Creator and Social Entrepreneur. She is currently the Executive Director at HalTV Africa. She is happily married and has 2 children, aged 5 and 2, who will attend TVC, by God’s grace.
Kayode ADEGBOLA is a lawyer by training but his passions are business and politics. He is currently the Lead Advisor at Golborne Road Advisory, a firm that helps clients navigate the regulatory landscape in Nigeria. I am proud to say that in 2018, Kayode awarded 2 scholarships to a boy and girl from public primary schools in Yewa North LG, his political constituency. These 2 Yewa North LG scholars are already in JSS2 and the scholarship valued at N2m per year will run throughout their 6 years’ education at The Vale College.
These young and promising Alumni/Speakers, are role-models for the delegates and they will set the tone for the conference, during their Roundtable discussions and before the delegates have their breakout committee sessions. I look forward to listening to them all, and learning from their experiences. What joy to see that those who came to learn as students at TVC are now returning to give back and share with other students- we are now learning from them! True to our motto at TVTC , we raise “Lifelong Learners’.
I thank the Local Organising Committee, headed by Mr. Billy OLADIMEJI, Mr. Akanbi and Mr. Olatunji for organising this conference. They have all worked very hard and we commend their dedication and commitment. Please can we all give them a round of applause?
I also thank all the delegates, especially students from invited schools and our students at The Vale Tutorial College and The Vale College. I thank the plenary Chairman, Miss. Yetunde Ojebola, all the Chairmen and Secretaries of Committees. You have all worked very hard, combining preparation for this conference along with your school work. However, this is the real aim of TVC- a well-rounded education, applying knowledge acquired in the classroom to real life situations and solving national issues. The soft skills and life skills you learn and apply during this conference will give you an edge and advantage over your peers ,who do not yet have the opportunity to participate in such a life-changing experience.
It is our hope that during these 3 days, you will make new friends, interact and share experiences with your peers from other schools More importantly, you will learn more about all the states in Nigeria, the issues concerning national development, and express you views and vision of the Nigeria of your dream. We also hope this will lead to a paradigm shift for both the leaders and the led; and that the conversations will continue beyond this conference, to all corners of Oyo State and Nigeria, as a whole.
At the end of the conference, the communique of all decisions and agreements, will be collated and sent to all the media houses, both print and electronic media. We are also doing a live streaming of the Conference proceedings. We will send copies of the communique to all the Governors of the 36 States, starting with our own Oyo State, and all the leaders of the political parties.
The Staff Advisors will have their separate sessions, where they too can exchange ideas and learn from one another. We hope this will lead to strong inter-school collaborations and future conferences will be even better and more robust than this maiden edition. We appreciate all schools and organisations who have partnered with us. God bless and enlarge your schools and businesses, in Jesus’ Name. Amen
I welcome you all to TVC’s 1st Model National Conference and wish you a highly enjoyable and educational time. We thank all our Invited Guests, School Proprietors, Parents, Friends of The Vale, Gentlemen of the Press, our Alumni and Members of the Board of Governors for taking time out to attend this Opening session.
God bless and keep you and all yours’, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Friday 1st November 2019.