March 5, 2008 started a new phase in the life of Ogunyemi Bankole Taiwo. Interning at the Warri refinery of NNPC was an opportunity to understand the practical application of what had been taught in the Ivory Tower. Upon resumption, he was stationed at the tank farm of the Oil movement section as a shift worker, which enabled him transform the paper layout of the Pump house A flow chart to a Computer Aided Design format voluntarily. After his first 3 months he was transferred, due to his Computer competency, to the administrative unit of the section and was responsible for the monitoring of the pumps and calculation of the various Pump head. He became the Youngest of the team that re-scheduled the work instruction mechanism of the department. He took an interest in environmental reclamation of wasted lands that were affected by oil spill and made a research on it for his final year project. In February 2010, the research paper came 3rd position in the Society for Petroleum Engineers, NAICE Competition.
As at the time of internship, Taiwo passionately became interested in developing the young people in Warri, dispelling the norm that you only repair the village of your kinsmen. After graduation from University, he returned to setup a Youth Development Center called THE VISIONARIES ACADEMY (TVA) focusing on Environment, Entrepreneurship and ICT.
So far, the organization which started on the 26th of April, 2010 has inaugurated Green Clubs in Public and Private secondary schools in Warri, in conjunction with the Ministry of Education; participated in environmental sanitation organized by the State Government; organized a capacity building program for the Green Ambassadors on Climate change during the 2010 World Environment Day; and also held the 1st Summer Technology in Delta State- Warri-South Local Government and Uvwie Local Government, 616 Public Secondary School Students were trained on the practical use of a computer for two weeks without any sponsorship from any organization or individual.
TVA will be hosting the 1st youth-driven Community Service of its kind in Delta state tagged ‘Warri-Makeover’ on the 29th-30th of Oct, 2010. To spur the culture of youth participation in Nation Building, at community level and eradicate the culture of “waiting for the government.”
Warri-makeover will feature young people from different parts of Nigeria coming together to paint 3 Public Primary and Secondary School each in Warri, and also planting of eco-friendly trees. The event will also feature a youth dialogue on “The role of Young people in Community Social Development”. The first day will involve about 2000 young people, which include NYSC, Secondary School students, and the volunteering public. This will usher a new wave of Community Rebranding of Warri whose image has been daunted by the international community as a region where militants are groomed, men are lazy and unsafe environment. With a mission of empowering tomorrow’s leaders today, Taiwo, has pitched his tent in the Warri region, building synergy with youths in Niger-Delta for progressive Social development.
**Warri is a major oil city in Delta State, Nigeria, with a population of over a million people within the Warri metropolis. The people of Warri are mainly the Urhobos, Itsekiris, and Ijaws, but other ethnic groups also live within the city. Warri is predominantly Christian, as is most of Southern Nigeria. The city is known nationwide for its unique “Pidgin English”