Mr. Cletus Akhighe is the new National President of the National Industrial Safety Council of Nigeria (NISCN). In this interview with Safety Record Newspaper’s Ass. Editor, Paul Mbagwu, he talked about efforts to reposition the council to fulfil its mandate. Excerpt…
Could you tell us about yourself?
My name is Cletus Akhigbe, the current president National Industrial Council of Nigeria (NISCN); a passionate safety professional, one who believes so much in the Nigerian project for safety, health and the wellbeing of our workplaces. It is my privilege to be the president at this time, and I know that the nation is going to be blessed for it.
I found myself in the safety profession on my first job after my NYSC, when I took up a safety manager work with no experience, but with passion. I became the safety manager for World Oil Tools Nigeria Limited, an oil servicing limited and there I had challenges in safety that made me what I am today. When I mean challenges, you know what that means in Nigeria – the Oil and Gas industry is what drives safety in Nigeria. So you can imagine a young graduate who just came out from school, took a safety course in ISPON – I have my first degree in Engineering. On the job, it was my duty to respond to Exxon Mobil’s questionnaires, respond to Shell, respond to Chevron, and respond to all the companies who we had as clients. Then, I had reported back to my manager to ask for these things, and he replied, “This is why I employed you.” That was when I knew that the training I had in ISPON was not adequate; it was just a scratch. I had to move around to look for how to get those documents. It will be a long story if I have to tell you how I overcame that challenge. But in overcoming it, it became a serious training ground for me that no school would have given. I gained practical experience sourcing for those documents, understanding what they were, applying it in my company and passing every audit almost a hundred percent. That afforded me what I know today. I don’t work for anybody anymore, I own my own business, and I consult for as many companies as possible. It doesn’t matter what documentation you are looking for as far as it concerns safety in this nation, I will provide it for you. That was what that experience gave me. (For full interview, click here)