By Henry Uche, Lagos
Following news of the federal government’s $1.5 billion plan to rehabilitate the Port Harcourt refinery, the Institution of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN) has objected to the plan, considering it a waste of resources, recommending the building modular refineries to increase domestic petroleum production.
ICSAN President Bode Ayeku made this known in Lagos at a media parley where he noted that the federal government has wasted huge amounts of money in projects to rehabilite and maintain old refineries which have not yielded any benefit to the country.
‘It’s better to build modular refineries than to rehabilitate old ones,’ Ayeku said, adding that ‘Nigeria has wasted a lot in maintaining old but non-function refineries. The federal government should provide incentives to increase local production of petroleum products in order to conserve the nation’s foreign exchange for critical projects.’
The ICSAN president also advised the federal government to heed to aid offers from foreign countries that have expressed an interest in tackling Nigeria’s internal security crises, which appear to have overwhelmed the country’s capacity to deal resolve.
‘The federal government needs to collaborate with developed and neighboring countries who have the right technology to assist Nigeria’s security agencies to fight insurgency and other security threats. There is need for the deployment of technology such as drones, tracking devices, satellite in the management of insecurity in the country,’ he said.
Speaking on other national matters, Ayeku charged the government at all levels to strictly adhere to merit-based qualifications in public appointments, whilst not neglecting the quota system and federal character principle.
Ayeku told newsmen of the Institute’s plan to hold an interactive session holding on April 14 with the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN), based on concerns raised by stakeholders on the perceived conflict between some provisions of part six (6) of the Audit Regulations 2020 and Companies & Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020.
He confirmed that ICSAN is opposing a bill at the National Assembly seeking to grant ‘chartered status’ to the Association of Professional Secretarial Staff of Nigeria (APSSON). Ayeku said the reason for the opposition was that the essential part of activities to be performed by members of the association constituted a subset of the functions of the ICSAN.
He said that secretarial practice was part and parcel of the rights of the Institute as provided by the ICSAN Act 1991, adding that granting APSSON chartered status could also cause confusion in the public and duplication of responsibility, which would not make a good impression in the international community.
‘Granting APSSON a chartered status would amount to giving them responsibilities already legally assigned to ICSAN. Section 13 of the Bill states that a person shall be deemed as a member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Secretarial Staff of Nigeria (CIPSSON) if : He is a practising secretary employed in the public or private sector or self-employed; holds himself out to the public as a professional secretarial practitioner; a retired professional secretarial staff.
‘From our perspective, we can say that the kind of work under the nature and scope of activities of the category of workers envisaged as secretarial staff encompasses clerical work, activities of front desk officers, functions of Confidential Secretaries, and Personal Assistants.
‘Granting chartered status to APSSON will confer on the members the prerogative of adding the distinctive adjective “Chartered” to their existing name to realize the compound term ‘Chartered Secretaries’ which is currently used by members of ICSAN.
‘They can register as a labour union in order to protect the interest of their members, instead of seeking a charter which is not appropriate for them. We will, therefore, continue to monitor the progress of this bill.’