BY: VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
Leadership of Alumni Associations in the Country have been advised to always exhibit high level credibility, transparency and openness in managing the affairs of their association.
This advice was made by a Chartered Public Relations Practitioner ,Media and Communication expert, Comrade Benedict Okache in a presentation at the 2021 Re-Union Dinner of the Alumni Association of Class ’98,Accountancy Department Graduates of the then renowned Polytechnic,Calabar now University of Cross River State(UNICROSS) held at the main hall of Marian Hotels,Calabar,Cross River State
Okache,who is also the State Chairman of the Cross River State Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations(CRS-NIPR) stated that running the affairs of an Alumni Association should be service oriented and not to be seen as a money-making venture.
He further emphasized that members must be dedicated ,committed and united to the ideals and aspirations of the Alumni Association with greater ripples effects on the Alma Mater.
He traced the history of Alumni Associations to the 26th of September,1840 when graduates of Franklin&Marshall College organized themselves to form an Association that will not only impact on their lives but also on their Alma Mater”
Okache noted that membership of Alumni Associations provides several opportunities and benefits,including business networking, Employment/Career Services, creation of life-long relationships, avenue for shared experiences and benefits on training opportunities across the globe .
Other glaring importance of forming an Alumni Association, he maintained are opportunities for financial benefits, loan/ mortgage supports, expert knowledge sharing, Philanthropy and serving as International Ambassadors of the Alma Mater.
He also encouraged them not to be deterred by the poor responses that greets the begining of such noble initiatives, stressing that *the way and manner they carry on the affairs of the Association will attract or repel members.”.
In his own remarks, the interim President, Edem Effiong Okon,said ” the journey started 23 years ago. This is one grand moment that has surely left a mark in our lives, the polytechnic now Crutech, Calabar, Cross River State and Nigeria”.
According to him, “the birthing , nursing and actualisation of this Noble idea is a plus to all of us who have deemed it fit to so be. Our diaspora members gracing today’s epoch event is a rout to greater success above where we are today”
He used the medium to appreciate their lecturers in the likes of Dr. A. U. Akpan (HOD) and the rest who had contributed so much to ensure that our today can be reckoned with in a society where dishonesty is the order of the day “.
.He lauded the organising committee for putting a thorough job towards this great reunion and hoped that an executive body should be elected today to pilot the affairs of the association.
Also speaking, the planning committee chairman, Elder Dan Nicholas Obun ( FCA), said “23 years ago, we were students of accountancy department in old Polytechnic Calabar.”
“It is to reflect as it were 23 years ago. Some of us after graduation, the reunion has afforded us the opportunity to meet again in a very special way such as the Dinner Night, health talk and the lecture proper, he added”.
“Most of us came from Lagos, Abuja and outside the country to honour this Noble invitation. So the idea is to reunite, networking, see how we can lean or help each other and meet face to face as is been done today, he added”.
Also, we have come to think for what to do for our alma matar in the area of development in the school.
He said ” coming out of school doesn’t make one a professional accountant. There are professional bodies that are guided by code of conduct and ethics that is expected to guide your daily operations”.
These professional bodies help to train the manpower needed in both public and private organizations. We have enough manpower except that the business community would have not taken advantage of this at all to see that an accountant can stop organizations in growing their businesses, he observed.
“Then some of us saw the professional examinations as a monster, but today after sharing our experiences, we have come to realize that it is very important to upgrade our knowledge professionally, Obun added.”
“We have encouraged ourselves and adviced those who are yet to upgrade themselves to do so during the course of this reunion, he remarked”.
Also in an interview, the newly elected President of the association, Mr. Inyang Inyang Bassey, lauded members for finding him and other members of the executive worthy to lead them
“What we are doing today is bringing those wonderful men and women who graduated 23 years ago from the department of accountancy together as a body. It is a very remarkable experience in our lives, Bassey noted “
“We have gathered in order to propel activities that will move the association forward as well as thinker on how to assist our alma mater as it were, he added
He observed that “at times when people tend to be in a hurry to put associations together without doing alot of underground work, to underscore the readiness, willingness and the resources required to set up the group, they always go aground . We need time for maturity and time for members to see the need for us to come together and this is the time”.
“As professional accountants, we have ethics that guide our practice. And if an accountant by virtue of his professional and for the fact that he has consented to the code and conduct and is found wanton, the law has to take its course
He went ahead to say that “nobody is indispensable, if you are accused and it is proved you actually got your self messed up, you certainly have to go for it, he added”.
The newly elected executives are Inyang Inyang Bassey, Present, V-P, Obiora Eze, Sec. Gen Sarah Eyo Nsemo, Asst. Sec. Osim Eyam, and Fin. Sec. Enwongo Abasi Okon.
Others are Treasurer, Ayi Okon, Pub.Sec. Mark Ashaba, Welf. Officer Odo Asuquo and Ex-officio Edem E. Okon as they were inaugurated immediately.
The Polytechnic Calabar Accountancy Class ’98 Alumni Association 2021 re-union lecture has its theme “Meeting to Unite” also featured interactive sessions reminiscence of the old school days.