On behalf of the Council I welcome all of us to Owerri on the occasion of our 42nd Annual General Meeting (AGM), this Council’s second AGM. I want to specially thank God Almighty for granting each one of us a safe trip here, despite long distanced for some, the bad roads, general insecurity in our country and difficult economic times which the nation is passing through. May God reward us all for the selfless sacrifices done for the sake of growth and development of our nation. The Council wishes to thank all our members who attended the 41st Annual Conference at Lafia and have been in touch since then. NIP is our mother professional association and I call on ALL physicists to to register and become members. On the part of the Council we want to reiterate our pledge to continue to serve you dutifully, transparently and with the zeal we indicated.
Let me address some of the pledges we made and how far we have gone
NIP REGISTRATION WITH CAC:
It is with a sense of fulfillment and indeed pride that today this Council announces that the yoke and reproach of almost forty six (46) years has been broken/removed when in March this year our NIP was officially registered with RC 1201284 and the certificate of registration handed to us by the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria. As remarked by Prof. IB Osazuwa, a onetime President of NIP, “Aboh, this is a landmark achievement and must be expressly celebrated at Owerri”. Our members should feel free to celebrate this feat, please.
The Council wishes to inform the AGM that the Institute’s website, www.nipngn.org is now very functional. As can be testified, most of our newly inducted members had their membership registration processed, including making registration payments, through the website. The current editions of the Nigeria Journal of Physics are being uploaded on the website and this will continue with subsequent editions. It is hoped that when the soft copies of previous editions of the NJP are secured they too will promptly be uploaded as provisions have been made for that as well. As the website is upgraded very soon all aspects such as (1) Printing of Membership Certificates (2) Payment of Annual Dues (3) Payment for Journal publications) (4) Sending of articles for publication in the Nigerian Journal of Physics (NJP) (5) Tracking of status of sent articles for publication (6) Payments for re-print of journal published papers (7) Reviewing of Articles and other others. We believe this will place us on the global tract and reduce the present difficulty our members and even some Council positions are having meeting the expectations of our members. The Council wishes to thank some staff of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) for availing us their expertise.
NATIONAL PHYSICS CENTRE (NPC):
It is noteworthy that this Council has been able to take full possession of the two acres of land given to it along the Airport road at Abuja. The villagers have been fully compensated just as the survey for the land has also been completed. It is hoped that when completed the NPC will have an ultramodern physics research laboratories, halls/meeting rooms, as well as chalets and guesthouse/hotel. When completed, the NIP might think of staging is Annual Conferences permanently at the NPC. Other NIP activities such as workshops, colloquium etc can move across the states/zones. The Launching Committee earlier proposed have not been able to meet due to set backs received. In the coming year, it is hoped that all impediments to the launching would have been removed.
THE NIGERIAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICS (NJP):
In keeping to the promised made at the last conference the Council is happy to announce that two editions of the NJP has since been published and is already in circulation. The issue of publication fee is still a challenge as members are still made to pay publication fees and not for free. We had hoped that by now TETFUND would have responded to our letters and reminders about the need for it to resume their traditional sponsorship of the NJP which was stopped before this Council came onboard. The approved two titles for the NIP Journal i.e. the Nigerian Journal of Applied Physics (NJAP) and Nigerian Journal of Theoretical and Environmental Physics (NJTEP) will be brought to fruition the coming year. Already the two titles have been reserved for NIP at the National Library of Nigeria. In line with our goal of injecting fresh hands into the Journal editorial team, the NJP now have new Editorial Board Members as reflected in the current issues of the NJP.
When this Council came on board, I made a passionate appeal for the formation of chapters in their various states of operations. On behalf of Council, I extremely happy with the manner this appeal has been taken seriously by our members. Last year it was solo efforts of our indefatigable Associate Professor Joseph Coker, FNIP (NIP’s Financial Secretary) and Dr Abiodun Okedeyi (NIP’s Publicity Secretary) that Ogun and Lagos State Chapters were formed. This year, they have coordinated the formation of Oyo and Osun State Chapters and I have been briefed that the formation of Ondo State Chapter is already being worked out as well. In course of the year, the following chapters have been formed i.e. Rivers, Zamfara, Gombe, Bayelsa, Katsina and just last week, we pleasantly received the news of the formation of Anambra Chapter. Therefore, the NIP now has the following State/Zonal Chapters; (1) MAKURDI (Benue) (2) CROSS RIVER (3) OGUN (4) LAGOS (5) OYO (6) GOMBE (7) ZAMFARA (8) RIVERS (9) OSUN (10) ANAMBRA (11) BAYELSA (12) KATSINA. This shows that this Council has been able to add TEN (10) chapters to NIP since it came onboard. It is our desire that ALL states in Nigeria should have an NIP chapter. Chapters will make NIP and indeed physics to be known and heard and the challenges of the study, teaching, learning and research in physics in the country reduced. I thank, most sincerely, our senior colleagues, our Professors, who despite their exalted positions, spearheaded the formation of their chapters. I call on the Chapter Chairmen to work closely with the Council for harmony. Prof Anthony Ekine is the Chapter Liaison Officer (CLO) and is ready to work with the Chairmen.
The Council promised at the last AGM that it was going to present at this AGM a revised section of the NIP Constitution. The sections being canvassed by members includes the detail function of each office to be inserted in the constitution and eligibility of members to contest for ANY position during elections which should clearly be defined. A Committee was set up to look into these issues and their recommendations are as attached. I wish that this AGM considers and approve as appropriate, please.
In the coming year, the NIP will be establishing its presence within the reach of the Federal and State Governments. As a result, a one day National Colloquium/Symposium will be statged at a strategic venue at Abuja. It is hoped that the President, C-in-C will be invited along with strategic heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies. Our members occupying key areas will be called upon to offer both financial and logistic assistance, please.
The Council hopes to continue its advocacy visits and encouraging the chapters to carry out similar visits in their states.
MIDYEAR NIP ACTIVITIES:
The Constitution of NIP allows for other activities apart from the Annual Conferences. Chapters are encouraged to organized activities both at regional, sub-regional and national levels in the form of seminars, workshops, colloquium, physics quiz, and exhibitions etc after obtaining clearance from the Council through the CLO. NIP Certificates of Attendance/Participation/Presentation can always be given for such events so as to encourage members to add to their CVs. I look forward to seeing key physics related agencies like NNRA, NAEC, ECN, SHESTCO, NSRDA etc take up the challenge to host NIP in a midyear event, especially on their recent findings while carrying out their key mandates.
It was resolved at the last AGM that the Council gives yearly account of NIP’s finances. To this effect, we wish to state that in the period under review and as reflected in the NIP’s printed Bank Account Statement, the opening balance stood at N1,549, 712.22, total debit is N2, 342, 020.70 and Closing Balance stood at N2, 829, 741.84. 00.
As has always been explained, the reason for why NIP keeps grappling will little financial resources is because, as at today, NIP does NOT receive grants or donations or any other source of money from anywhere other than from membership dues/payments and returns from LOC after our Annual Conferences. Some conferences have even turned out negative returns where Council was expected to refund to LOC ‘excess’ expenses incurred. Promises of funds were made previously by both private and governmental bodies but were never fulfilled. Last year Nasarawa State Government publicly pledged to give NIP the sum of One million Naira through the Lafia LOC/Federal University, Lafia yet till date it is yet to be redeemed. I want to specially thank the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) through Dr Umar Malah for fulfilling its pledge to support the NIP.
I implore our members heading some of the agencies of government to please make a special case for NIP to their boards for yearly subvention to NIP. In the alternative they could award some projects on yearly basis to NIP to execute where funds can be made for the upkeep of the Institute. I believe this is achievable. Some of our sister associations are exploring this mode for funding their associations.
Finally, I welcome our newly inducted members to the Nigerian Physics family. To our new Fellows and even the old Fellows, please know that you are the fathers and guardians of the Institute. We welcome your constructive interventions always.
In conclusion, I have observed that so many of our members are not on our “Telegram” platform. This should quickly be corrected because that is the platform, apart from private messages via the email, where NIP engage members, discuss and exchange information and get updated about the happenings across the physics family in the various states and regions of Nigeria and beyond.
May God see us through this 42nd Annual Conference and beyond.
Thank you all.