Nigeria Chapter Uses ASSE’s Mission to Drive New Initiatives

“A leader without a vision is doomed to fail.” This is Justina Okoro’s new mantra after taking over as ASSE Nigeria Chapter president. The first action she took when given the reigns was ensuring that her executive committee came up with a mission statement in line with that of the Society: “To promote the advancement of the safety profession in Nigeria and benchmark the best global practices while protecting people, equipment and the environment.” This vision has driven the chapter to develop new initiatives that promote safe practices and encourage membership, Okoro says. Some new initiatives include:

  • registering the chapter with Nigeria’s Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC);
  • obtaining an administrative office for the chapter, as well as office equipment, such as projectors, computers and printers;
  • developing the chapter’s website;
  • advancing chapter awareness in schools, both tertiary and secondary;
  • developing education, editorial and community outreach committees;
  • branding souvenirs for community outreach and member appreciation gifts;
  • collaborating with trainers from OSHA and other federal organizations for the training of ASSE NC members.

Some of these initiatives may seem like no-brainers to other chapters, but for Nigeria, obtaining permission from CAC to register as an association was no easy task. “With the chapter name bearing America, it was frowned upon by Nigeria’s CAC,” Okoro says. “The inability to register had really limited the chapter in previous years in publicly contributing to the safety issues of Nigeria.” Nonetheless, the Nigeria Chapter overcame these challenges and serves as a reminder of the resiliency of the SH&E community.