A member of the embattled Governing Board of the Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria (ISPON), Mr. Evaristus Uzamere, has described the institute as more stringent in handling issues of poor conduct among members than the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and National Bar Association (NBA).
In his paper presentation delivered at Induction ceremony of Lagos ISPON at the National Secretariat on Saturday, September 2, titled, “Becoming A Top Safety Professionals In 21st Century” Uzamere charged the newly-inducted members to embrace good character coupled with competence in the discharge of their professional responsibilities wherever they find themselves.
Uzamere stated that other bodies may be lenient in dealing with their members but the structure of ISPON gave no room for any attitude that will degrade the status of the body.
He said, “In most professional bodies, the association is separate from the board. If you mess up within the association, you have a board that you can always appeal to.
“But in ISPON, it’s not like that. ISPON is board-controlled, which means that if you mess up, you are messing up with the board so there is nobody to appeal to.
“It is not like that in other professions. In law, you can do what you like with NBA and go to the board and argue your case out with the Board. In NMA, the same thing; but it’s not like that with the institute.
“So competence and character still has high premium within the institute. People just want to grab the job and then do what they like with it. This is unfortunate but in our institute, character is very important,” he added.
Furthermore, Uzamere said persons practising safety in Nigeria without being registered members of the institute were not professionals, advising individuals and companies to be very cautious in dealing with them.
“There are challenges of fake and unqualified practitioners and unregistered professionals.
“This needs to be managed properly because when there are opportunities, everybody wants to latch, whether they are qualified or not.
He added, “You are a safety professional if you are a member of this body. If you practice as a safety professional and you are not a member, you are fake and you are subject to arrest by any police officer.
“This is the position of the law. I am quoting the law. It is like being a doctor. You can be the best doctor in the world but when you come to Nigeria, what you do? You register with the NMA.
“You can be the best lawyer in the world and argue even with the devil but when you come to Nigeria, can you practice? What do you do? You register with the NBA. That is the same thing with safety.”
He called on professionals to value professionalism more than politics as they try innovative ways to tackle situations of the 21st century.