The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Zonal Secretariat in Ikere-Ekiti, Ekiti State, which was in a state of disrepair, is now wearing a new look, courtesy of a corps member serving in the town, Miss Ikeade Adebusoye, who renovated the facility. The renovated office, which was inaugurated last week, is giving joy to the NYSC officials and corps members. ODUNAYO OGUNMOLA reports.
When Miss Ikeade Adebusoye was posted to Ekiti State in November, last year to observe her mandatory one-year National Youth Service (NYSC), little did she know that she was on her way to make history and etch her name in the minds of members of the community.
The 2016 graduate of Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, who hails from Ondo State, was posted to Benin Owena River Basin Development Authority (BORBDA) zonal office in Ikere-Ekiti as her place of primary assignment.
But a horrible experience she and other corps members had at the NYSC Zonal Office in Ikere-Ekiti, fired the patriotic zeal in her to contribute her own quota to national development and leave a legacy for generations to come.
Ikeade and her colleagues had gathered for their weekly Community Development Services (CDS) meeting when the heavens opened and a torrential rain descended on the zonal secretariat where they had gathered for the meeting.
The building, which was hitherto derelict and begging for repairs, had its roof leaking at several points while many of the windows which were supposed to shield occupants against ferocious wind and cold had fallen off.
Before Ikeade’s intervention, some members of staff of the NYSC feared that the building could come down, especially during the rainy season when rains pounded the facility.
The experience got the girl thinking and that was the turning point for the NYSC zonal secretariat which has office accommodation for workers of the agency and a hall for meetings for corps members.
Twenty-One-year-old Ikeade conceived the project in May but her meagre N19, 800 monthly allowances was not enough to carry out such an enormous project. She had to run around soliciting for funds to finance the project that was dear to her heart.
It was celebration time on penultimate Tuesday when the new-look project was inaugurated. NYSC officials and fellow corps members celebrated Ikeade, who was joined by her mother, Princess Adejoke Adebusoye and her elder sister, Dr. Adekemi Adebusoye, who just graduated from the medical school.
The newly-renovated zonal secretariat was inaugurated by the State Coordinator of the NYSC, Mrs. Nwanno Ukagha, who was represented by Assistant Director in charge CDS, Mr. Andy Obarein.
The Ekiti NYSC boss, Mrs. Ukagha, urged other corps members to emulate Miss Adebusoye whom she said had made history by the massive renovation of the zonal office.
Mrs. Ukhagha said: “She has contributed her own quota to national development as a corps member and Ikeade will be remembered for what she has done anytime we are making use of this facility.
“Those of you that will pass out (of NYSC service) in March, this is a challenge to you because you still have more time. Don’t let this opportunity to affect your community pass you by.”
Speaking with Southwest Report , Ikeade, who shares the same birthday (March 7) with her father, Hon. Justice Adegboyega Adebusoye, revealed that she had wanted to embark on a school renovation project because of the pitiable condition of some public schools in the town.
She also revealed that she desired to embark on a borehole project in her neighbourhood because residents trek long distances to get potable water but had to start with the Ikere office of NYSC which is her “primary constituency.”
Ikeade further explained that getting sponsors was taxing but her parents, Justice Adebusoye and Princess Adebusoye; elder sister, Dr. Adebusoye and other public-spirited individuals supported the project.
She said: “One day, we were having our CDS meeting inside the hall when rain began to fall. The rain was getting at us because the roofs were leaking.
“The ceiling was bad; you could see the holes on the roofs from the ceiling. So, we had to be moving chairs here and there and cleaning the floor because the whole place was in bad condition. I didn’t like it.
“There are about three hall ways, I painted inside, outside, the front, the side. Then I had to replace the leaking roofing sheets with new ones. I had to get new iron sheets; I got new asbestos because the old asbestos sheets were damaged.
“I painted the ceiling, did the flooring because the floor too was broken and I got new tiles for the floor. The steps were also in bad condition; they were broken and we had to get cement to smoothen it.
“Initially I thought the project would cost N308, 000 but in all I spent N420, 000 because we had to get extra buckets of paint and had to get new tiles because our earlier estimations were wrong.”
Speaking about the challenges of raising funds for the project, Ikeade said: “It was not easy getting money from people. I showed them the pictures that this is the condition of the place I wanted to renovate. Some of them will say ‘let me help her’ others will say ‘I don’t have money.’
“It was challenging getting the funds; when I called some people they would ask me to call them the other week and on and on and on and the scenario put me off because I had wanted to finish the project by August.
“It was my mum who kept encouraging me; saying nothing comes easy. She told me that I should not expect people to give me money just on the asking. At some time, I fell sick and my mum would be driving me around.
“I had to move round the community; initially some of them didn’t want to help but I kept on disturbing them. It wasn’t easy because it took months to get the money. It was between July, August and September but it was in October that I got the final funds.”
On whether should would embark on such projects beyond her service year, Ikeade said she would continue to serve humanity because she was happy living up to the essence of the NYSC scheme.
She said: “Yes, I will love to do such in the future; even though raising funds was a challenge. It took me just one week to execute the entire project.
“I will love to carry out borehole projects for people lacking access to potable water and also renovate schools to offer our pupils environment conducive to learning.”