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NP speech staff seminar

(Monday 15th January 2018)

It is a pleasure to address you today, and to welcome all to this Management and Governance capacity building workshop with the Theme of “Streamlining our Structural Direction”. We are welcome to year 2018, which, we pray, will be very profound to all of us and our National Society.
Our National Society is at a critical turning point. The Theme of this Seminar is a clear indication. We shall now get it right or lose it all. We must therefore seize this opportunity and build together the National Society which we all dream of.

·       An Organization providing assistance and protection to all in need everywhere in Nigeria.
·       An Organization building community resilience in our nation:  
o Preventing disease, or mitigating it;
o Preventing, escaping or mitigating disasters;
o Building livelihoods;
o Providing hope and opportunity to youth;
o Promoting gender protection;
o Reducing the risks associated with crisis;
o Fostering tolerance and humanity; and
o Restoring family links.

·       An organization with a reputation for integrity, credibility and effectiveness.
·       Our emblem and logo being nation-wide symbols of hope and care for all in need in Nigeria.

Together we can achieve these; together we should work to achieve these.
Let me assure you that as Governance, we are resolved to be by your side, promoting, leading and enabling this transformation. Our new Secretary General (SG), Alh. Abubakar Ahmed Kende, has our full trust and confidence.

In the few weeks of his assumption of office, he has shown clear drive, courage, leadership and sacrifice for this Organization.  He is already:
o Designing to put in place a functioning team at the Nat. Headquarters. He has brought in volunteers and some Branch staff as Interns to fill critical gaps to avoid loss of opportunities.
o Working closely with HQ and Branch teams to set up plans and objectives for 2018.
o Strengthening key partnerships and relationships that will serve to scale our work countrywide.
We expect great leaps from him. But he can do nothing alone. He needs all of us!

What does he need from us? Four things!  
1: Discipline.
No organization can function without a very disciplined and committed Management and Governance.
We should all ensure:
o That we focus on what needs to be done;
o That clear objectives are set and met;
o That professionalism is kept at all times and levels; and
o There is a respect for hierarchy – each member of the team doing the best in his position.
The discussions we shall be having throughout these three days should set us on the right path.

2: Commitment and Sacrifice.
All of us should continually place the good of the Organization above self-interest. We all know too well where self-interest leads us. The misuse of funds or power for personal gain is an insidious cancer that kills any organization.
If we cannot provide good stewardship over the funds entrusted to us, we will simply not be further funded; If we cannot show effective programming, implementation and reporting, there will be reduced demand for our services; If we cannot show that we are a haven where volunteers can place their trust to learn, serve and grow, our volunteer strength will simply drop.
3: Innovation and Ingenuity.
We should all be daily problem solvers, recognizing the limits of our thinking and going beyond, within and outside the box.
We should grow to become listeners and learners, turning our failures to opportunities for growth and progress; recognizing quickly where we are failing and taking quick remedial steps.
Our world is one of increasing dynamics, more so, our country. Already, the drivers of conflict and violence are increasing and mutating. We should continually challenge ourselves to remain at the cutting edge in all that we do. Whether it is responding to the particular needs in urban settings, developing together a truly thriving first aid service or finding effective ways to source financing.
We have amazing resources within our Movement to enable us to do so. Simple, low cost programmes should increase our visibility and improve our relationship with the people, in-country development partners and Governments.
Let me take this opportunity to congratulate the entire team, including Partners that worked on the new volunteer database. The Nigeria Red Cross Society was the proud recipient of the volunteer innovation prize for 2018 at our global General Assembly last November. We have the database; we have won the prize; we should now populate the database. Membership drive should attract the prime attention of Branches.

4: Generosity
The Red Cross emblem is a symbol of love and humanity across the world. Are we reflecting these qualities among ourselves? Do we actively listen to our colleagues? Do we seek to understand the challenges faced by others and help find solutions or do we sit back, judge, complain, and condemn or write the person off? Are we engaging and creating a culture of gossip or a culture of sharing; a culture of competition and silos, or a culture of mutual support and team spirit?
In this New Year, as the SG will hopefully tell you, we will take performance management seriously. These competencies will serve as the foundation for our appraisal system.

I am sure we will have time over these next three days to ponder these questions and adopt the necessary action steps to begin to create the culture/tradition we wish to see collectively in our Society.
Let us enjoy ourselves as we learn! We are privileged to have this time together, to get to know yourselves and our colleagues better. We thank our Partners, ICRC and IFRC, for being here all of these three days with us, and for their continual financial and technical support.
This is your show as staff – with the SG in charge. Our plea is for us all to set aside our phones and laptops during sessions to fully concentrate. This is serious business.

Together we bear a heavy responsibility. Literally, the health and wellness of millions of persons rest on our shoulders. This is our collective duty. I know together we can bring about our dream Nigeria Red Cross Society.  
Thank you for being on this journey.

On this note I hereby declare this Seminar OPEN.
Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.
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