It is with sense of appreciation to almighty God who has made it a reality, and absolute humility to humanity that I welcome you all to this memorable occasion. It is a memorable day because not only is it a combined event for both members and invited dignities, but also to say the least the mark of a new beginning in the history of this great the Chartered Institute of Project Managers of Nigeria in particular, and indeed to Nigeria as a Country. Surely the journey which started 14years ago has seen this Institute metamorphoses from a mere Incorporated Trustee (Institute Of Project Managers Of Nigeria ltd GTE) into a full fledged statutory body recognized by law as the Chartered Institute Of Project Managers Of Nigeria with a clear cut statutory mandate of reshaping and instilling positive attitudinal change in minds and orientations of project managers in Nigeria with a view to entrenching and enforcing standard best practices from conception to completion of all shades of projects in Nigeria.

From the very day the idea of standardizing the practice of project managements in Nigeria was conceived, I never knew it was such an uphill task. The rigor, complication and administrative challenges of reserving the name at the corporate affairs commission between 2007 and 2010 to say the least, left a bitter taste in my tongue, and often times very difficult to retain in one’s memory. To the extent that even as we speak the Incorporated Trustee name is still a subject of litigation as a result of CAC’s administrative issues, but thank God we have gone past that.

Recalling the setbacks we experienced with the drafting of the bill prior to the NASS stage still does not ordinarily give any array of hope of progress. But rather than being discouraged, we took it as a greater challenge even in the midst of deliberate attempt by some individuals to frustrate the process, before eventually the draft bill was submitted to the National Assembly in 20… with the hope that it will not exceed that legislative year. But to my upmost consternation this bill was in the National Assembly for three good three legislative years. The delay to pass the bill by both  Chambers of the National Assembly never came with any defined reason. Having suffered those setbacks for three consecutive legislative years, the underlying politics notwithstanding I refused to give up. My determination to carry on in the face of seemingly impossible result was predicated on “winners never quit and quitters never won”.  Lo and behold there came the 8th assembly, the bill was re-introduced. For the first time, it scaled through first and second readings and passed through committee stage, as though it was a dream, it passed through the public hearing and eventually was passed into law by the National Assembly, before it was forwarded to the President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for his assent, and was finally published in the Federal Government Official Gazette which is the last and final stage of its authentication and legal referencing.

Ladies and gentlemen, you can now understand why the Chartered Institute of Project Managers of Nigeria has deemed it fit to confer an Honorary Fellow Award to the Senate President Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, Rt. Honorable Yakubu Dogara the speaker of the Federal House Of Representative for the undeniable roles of the 8th National Assembly on one hand and the unquestionable reason for conferring on His Excellency Professor Yemi Osinbajo SAN, GCON and Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi for the uncommon role played by the President Mohammadu Buhari led Executive in ensuring that the much anticipated dream of elevating the status of this Institute to a Statutory body, recognized by ACT of National Assembly.

No doubt it is one of the obvious ways of reinstating the Muhammadu Buhari’s led Administration’s commitment to good quality project management in Nigeria, to avert and forestall the perennial incidences of especially, collapse building in the Nigeria’s building and construction industry. You can now understand why, I said earlier, that today marks the new beginning of a new era.

Having come thus far, and with formal inauguration of the Governing Council today, the Institute is set to assume its rightful position in the national discourse, with a view to promoting veritable positive developments, good governance and ethical standards in the overall interest of our nation, Nigeria.

The governing council being the statutory arm of the institute saddled with the responsibility of policy formulation for effective and efficient running of the Institute, judging by its composition, is no doubt institute is no doubt ready to ‘’fire from all cylinders’’.

I therefore charge all the “fasten their seatbelt” because the flight is has taken off. As stated in our respective appointed letters, you are to bring in your wealth of experiences, give all the needed and necessary supports to the sustainable growth and development of the Institute in particular and the Nation at large.  While discharging of your responsibilities, you are admonished to see your co-council members as partners in progress. Eschew any and every form acrimony, politics of bitterness, backbiting and personality clash. Instead, promote healthy competition, constructive criticism and exhibit spirit of brotherhood in the course of your assignments. ‘’Our primary mandate is everyone’s primary mandate’’. It is all about “us” the CIPMN and not “I” as a council member. You are to formulate policies that will make the capacities built by CIPMN compete favorably with their contemporaries in the global arena. You are to ensure that there is no gap between the council policies and the institute’s management action. Our bonds should remain our strength. You are to dish out policies in line with the Establishment Act, formulate policies that will regulate all present and prospective project managers in the country, and particularly, policies that will compel all qualified members of the public (both employees and those in private practice) to come under this umbrella. Frankly speaking, you have enormous task in your hands.

To other members of the FELLOW category, you are the frontline members of the Institute; you are the first apostles and marketers of the Institute. Indeed, you are our overall image makers. Always remember that the members of Institute at the lower cadre are looking up to you. Therefore, do everything in your powers to project CIPMN in the right light. Always have it at the back of your mind that as the sky is big enough to accommodate everybody, so also are the inexhaustible opportunities available in the Institute for the benefit of humanity.

To every other member, we all share common and collective responsibilities of accepting responsibilities of the success and failure of every projects involving us. Gone are the days when there was no responsibility Centre for various handlers in Nigeria. The era of business as usual has come and gone. If any area of the project participants like Engineers, Architects, Quantity surveyors etc. fails, it means you have failed as a project manager; it is your responsibility. The consequences of poor-quality material usage, improper deployment of work force at project site, under estimation of man, money and material required for successful completion of projects is both your responsibility and liability.  For the sake of emphasis, the Chartered Institute of Project Managers of Nigeria which has been empowered to instill and enforce discipline in the area of Project Manager’s practice will certainly not fail to exercise its statutory mandate. It is therefore my passionate appeal to all Project Management practitioners to henceforth imbibe the culture of professionalism, and ethical standards and global best practices in all your Projects Engagement.

To our Honorary Awardees, it may interest you all to know that, deciding on the beneficiaries of this year’s Honorary Fellow Award in spite of my initial explanation, was extremely challenging process, especially considering the political trend of the moment in our dear country.  In the mist of the rigorous criteria we realized the need to remain politically neutral and objective. In fact, these Honorary Fellow Awardees were selected solely on their perceived personal involvement and contribution in the build up to the passing of the bill into law rather than their present political position.

The criterion for the selection was deliberate. Deliberate because, the Chartered Institute of Project Managers of Nigeria as at today, is not politically oriented, rather it is a professional institute, with a passionate “will” to reposition everyone and everything in and around her towards professionalism without any form of ethno-religious, political or other divisive sentiments. We are aware that at all times in all circumstances, we will always be partners in progress with you all. In other words, by virtue of the Establishment Act of this institute, you are by today’s event, members of this CIPMN.

I therefore implore each and every one of you to join forces with other members of your Institute in realizing our statutory mandate.

To some of you who are in Government, all your colleagues, your subordinates and superior officers are your immediate catchment area for this institute. Take this “gospel” to them that it is a new dawn for project management in Nigeria. Encourage them to enroll with us. Project Management is for all and sundry.

To those of you in private practices, you have come, you have seen, you have heard. You are all welcome on board. From today onwards, you have been enrolled as our members. Where we go, there you go also. As I have charged those in the political class, the same charge I commit to you. Preach the same “gospel” of the institute to your immediate spare of contacts. The more the merrier. Together, we will reposition the mindset of project owners and managers for the overall sustainable growth of our dear country, Nigeria.

Once again, I must remain grateful to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria, who saw need to sign the bill passed by the National Assembly, which Established this Institute into law.

Also, my sincere unreserved thanks goes to both arms of the National Assembly, under the leadership of the Senate President- Senator (Dr.) Abubakar Bukola Saraki and Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, the Speaker of the House Of Representatives for their show of leadership during debate of the said bill at its various stages of reading at the floor of the National Assembly.

Not left out is Hon. Nkem Uzoma Abonta, the sponsor of the bill at the Green chamber. Thank you so much for your resilience, determination and resolve to painstakingly see to it that, your colleagues supported the bill. No doubt, it was a demonstration of your passion for quality project Management for the socio-economic benefits of Nigeria.

May I also thank Arc Godwin Okoronkwo, whose support I never lacked from the conception of the idea to this very movement. Thank you for all your supports.

To members of the CIPMN present management team, especially Chief Anyim Chinenye Nyerere, Dr. Jamilu Isa Yankwashi, and Bishop Ikechukwu Okoronkwo, the Vice President South, Vice President North and the public relations Officer of the Institute respectively.

I salute You spirit of team work and unconditional efforts ever since you came on board.

To the man, through who this venue and other logistics for today’s event was made possible; the pioneer Vice Chairman of the Governing Council, the Member representing NAACCIMA in the Governing Council, and the Chairman, Chief Executive officer of International Business Bureau Limited, Chief Afolayan Emmanuel Olabode, God Almighty will surely reward the labor of your love.

My special thanks also goes to the Minister of Industry, Tradex Investment, who by law is our Supervising Minister for his understanding and co-operations in ensuring that today’s event see the light of the day.

Finally, what would have been possible without God almighty? All who were part of this success story are all instrument in God’s hand. With my heart full of gratitude, I say thank you Lord.

Once again, Ladies and gentlemen, our distinguished invited guest, gentlemen of the press, permit me to at this stage urge you all to feel free to be fully part of this event.

I am convenience thank it will be a memorable day in the history of your life.

Thank you and God bless you all.