BEING THE SPEECH DELIVERED BY PROFESSOR KEHINDE O. OLUSEGUN, CHAIRMAN, BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE CERTIFIED INSTITUTE OF COOPERATIVES AND SOCIAL ENTERPRISE MANAGEMENT (CICOSEMA) AT THE INAUGURAL STRATEGIC BUSINESS MEETING WITH STATES & FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY COORDINATORS IN OWERRI, THE IMO STATE CAPITAL, ON TUESDAY, 19TH MARCH, 2019.
Laying the Foundation
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, the Governing Council and Management of the Certified Institute of Cooperatives and Social Enterprise Management (CICOSEMA), I welcome you all to this special programme.
You have all come from both far and near, making substantial sacrifices, taking the long distance risks across the various geopolitical zones of Nigeria and investing your time with us, for which we are appreciative. We do hope and look forward to the time when international delegates will be present with us in Nigeria and we will also be attending such and similar programmes of The Institute in various parts of the world. It is my prayer that all these shall happen in our lifetime, and beyond.
In the words of Isaiah, “Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation...” (Isaiah 28:16). This is a great work, who’s foundation is God!
Laying the foundation, for a great work, usually will take a few who would initially believe in the vision, later, fewer see it as a dream, while the persevering much fewer see and experience its reality!
So, here present today, without doubt, are the three categories mentioned above; but the question we might be unable to put a straight answer to is who falls into which of these three categories? The safe haven would be to say that: only time will tell!
We have a combination of the young and the old, for effective cross fertilization and synchronisation of ideas in such manner that all issues are viewed from both perspectives, for the common good.
CICOSEMA, being an Institute specifically set up, not with the objective of profit making, will be directing all her energies towards the service of humanity. The goodwill, which has been built by its primogenitors, shall be placed at the disposal of The Institute in such manner that will translate to huge benefits that will significantly cascade across the various strata of our membership. Value creation, from thoughts, ideas, visions, dreams and passions of members shall be our driving force, “to make things happen” for their emancipation.
Being the visionary is not enough to make things happen! There is the need to have committed co-travelers who are readily determined to go through the wilderness ahead, making the sacrifices, to come into fruitfulness of the land of promise. Encouragers, destiny helpers and others who are willing, ready and able to run with the vision are most welcome. We shall pay very serious attention to all suggestions, sift through and select those that are workable, with accompanying rewards to its proponents.
We should all expect a mix of both encouragements and discouragements, but what will matter is the ability and resilience to hold our grounds, even in the face of these odds that will challenge us! Because, we do not always know when we are closest to the end of the tunnel, but one thing is sure that “after the thick darkness comes the shining light”! We will get there!
As a matter of fact, over 100 members have since applied for membership of CICOSEMA, in the last two months, but only a very few number has been able to complete the processes as at today. In some situations, the temptation to lower standards and just “deliver the membership on a platter” has, severally, stared us in the face with the noxious feeling of merely increasing the number to demonstrate success and achievement after some, supposed, appreciable efforts, but the unwavering belief that maintaining the high standards, today, is of essence to the survival and in the overall interest of guaranteeing a reliable future for our dear Institute. We feel proud of the inner strength to hold on!
Those who are successful, through the ongoing Accelerated and Direct Membership processes of 2019 shall be formally inducted into The Institute and issued their professional membership certificates at a date to be announced, very shortly. A Special Induction is being planned, for mid-year, to bring into The Institute persons with landmark and lifetime achievements, both within and outside the 3rd Sector, who shall form the fulcrum of our resource persons for the immediate and the future, for the purposes of providing support, grooming, mentoring, tutelage and other pedagogic contributions.
It is our conviction that the team assembled here today has the capacity and capability to deliver on all issues for deliberation at the various sessions of this 3-day event. At the end, a communiqué shall be issued for implementation from the end of the meeting to the end of the year, 2019.
I wish us all fruitful deliberations.
Thank you, once again, for coming.