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  • ISPON crisis

After nearly a decade of debilitating conflict, lasting peace may soon return to the Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria (ISPON) following a reconciliation process brokered by the House of Representatives Committee on Safety Standards and Regulations.

HSENations learnt that the House Committee conveyed a meeting of the three warring factions of the safety institute on Monday, May 6, and Tuesday, May 7, where far-reaching decisions were taken.

A copy of the two-page communique released after the meetings and sighted by this newspaper indicated that the meetings took place at Suite 0.12 and Conference Room 034, New Building, House of Representatives, National Assembly, Abuja.

The communique was signed by Chairman of the House Committee, Hon. (Dr.) Sulaiman Abubakar Gumi (FNSE); Clerk to the Committee, Chinyere Gift Ike-Onuigbo; and 14 members from the three factions led by Mr. Evaristus Uzamere, Engr. Timothy Iwuagwu, and Mr Ebi Kaizer.

The communique said that the House Committee listened to the different sides of the story presented by the various factions to gain an understanding of the imbroglio that has bedevilled the institute since 2016.

The communique said that the committee observed that the distraction caused by the conflict has been “huge, harmful, and extremely detrimental to the institute, her members, and Nigeria at large”.

House Committee brokers ISPON peace: Officials convene for pivotal discussions.

The committee also observed that the main problem of ISPON is that the institute is porous in terms of fund management and governance structure which led to numerous court injunctions and judgements.

The committee further observed that some of the factions have been operating illegally, however subscribers to these factions should not be meant to suffer the brunt.

The committee equally observed that there was a need for personal sacrifices in the interest of peace, unity, and growth of the institute.

Furthermore, the communique said that the committee emphasised that the National Assembly being the custodian of the ISPON Act 2014 would not hesitate to punish or sanction anyone found to be part of any further disintegration/discord and drastic measures would be taken against anyone working against the Act and success of the institute.

Meanwhile, the three factions of the institute have resolved to abide by the details and dictates of the communique reached without compromise.

The factions resolved that a committee be created to: (i) establish financial regulations and procedure for the institute and (ii) look into the ISPON Act and raise areas of amendment.

The factions also resolved that all existing court cases be withdrawn forthwith and evidence of the withdrawal brought to the attention of the House Committee on Safety Standards and Regulations on or before June 14, 2024, to enable all factions start on a clean slate.

The factions further resolved that all membership in various factional Register be merged and a new membership register containing the names from all the factions should be opened.

ISPON reconciliation: Officials gather for crucial peace negotiations.

Similarly, the factions resolved that a Transition/Caretaker Committee be formed to merge the membership of all factions, develop election guidelines, call for an Annual General Meeting (AGM), and conduct elections into the offices of the President, Deputy President and 10 Members of the Governing Board as prescribed by the ISPON Act 2014.

In the same vein, the factions resolved that officers so elected at the AGM to be held in the 3rd week of October 2024 in Abuja shall be sworn in immediately.

Officials convene for ISPON reconciliation talks: Charting a path to harmony

The factions also resolved that the three factions should nominate four persons from their current Governing Board/any other competent person to serve as members of the Transition/Caretaker Committee, whose chairman shall be the Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Safety Standards and Regulations (HCSSR) and Secretary shall be appointed by the HCSSR.

The factions resolved that members of the Transition Committee shall not be eligible to contest in the October 2024 election.

Representatives unite for ISPON peace talks: A step towards industry stability

It also resolved that the Transition Committee stands dissolved immediately after the Election/Swearing-in ceremony in October 2024.

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