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Minutes of the 11th Annual Conference/Business Meeting of OATIN

Venue: Chemical Engineering Lecture Theatre, Federal University of Technology, Minna
Time: 6.00 PM
Attendees:
Dr (Mrs) F.A. Olowokere                   National Coordinating Scientist
Dr O.S. Sakariyawo                            National Secretary
Mrs Joseph-Adekunle                         National Treasurer
Prof. V.I.O. Olowe                             National President NOAN
Prof. I.O.O. Aiyelaagbe                      Ex Officio
Prof. J.J. Atungwu                             Deputy Editor-in-Chief
Dr T.I. Olabiyi                                    Zonal Coordinator (South West)
Prof. Ibeawuchi I.I                             Zonal Coordinator (South East)
Prof. Nkereuwen John                         Zonal Coordinator (South South)
Dr S.T. Yusuf                                     Zonal Coordinator (North Central)
Dr I.U. Muhammed                            Zonal Coordinator (North West)
Mr Adelani D.O.
Dr Aderibigbe S.G.
Dr (Mrs) M.M. Olorunkoba
Dr A. Saidu
Dr A.J. Odofin
Dr J.O. Shiyam
Dr L.Y. Bello
Mr M.T. Ogunleye
Dr (Mrs) O.M. Odeyemi
Agenda

  • Opening prayer
  • Review of minutes of 2014 Annual Conference/Business Meeting, LAUTECH 2014
  • Matters arising from the minutes
  • Report from LAUTECH, Ogbomosho
  • Report from Zonal Offices
  • Report from Editorial Board
  • Financial Report
  • Consideration and adoption of OAPTIN strategic plan
  • Deliberation of proposed hosting right to UNIPORT and Kebbi State University of Science and Technology
  • Election of new Exco
  • Hand over and introduction of new Exco
  • Other matters arising from zonal offices
  • Closing prayers
  • Opening prayers

The 11th Annual Business Meeting was chaired by the National Coordinating Scientist [Dr (Mrs) F.A. Olowokere]. The opening prayer was delivered by Dr Shiyam. The attention of the session was drawn to the absence of a chairman for the penultimate Annual Business Meeting (LAUTECH 2014). It was reiterated that the Chairman of that session was the National Coordinating Scientist. The minutes of the Business Meeting was adopted by Dr T.I. Olabiyi and seconded by Prof. V.I.O. Olowe.

  • Review of the minutes of Annual Conference/Business Meeting (LAUTECH 2014) and other matters arising

It was observed that subsequently, both hard and electronic copies of minutes and agenda should be made available at the Annual Business Meetings. It was indicated that this would allow members to follow through on the deliberations made and make their meaningful contributions felt. It was suggested that an advance electronic copies were earlier sent to all the active members with the agenda for the Annual Business Meeting inclusive. However, few acknowledged it. This it was stated was to facilitate their earlier perusal of the document on time. Most members opined that in most cases participants barely check their mails. It was suggested that electronic copies should only act as a backup to the hard copy. It was highlighted that as earlier promised by LAUTECH 2014 LOC on certificate of attendance it was received by the Secretariat and promptly dispatched to their respective Institutions. It was observed that check-off dues from LAUTECH 2014 had already been remitted to the Secretariat. It was later requested that list of financially active members should be forwarded to the Secretariat on time. This would allow the Secretariat to update her records on all the financially active members of OAPTIN from all the zones across the Federation. Observations were made again concerning the absence of practising farmers at this years’ Annual Conference (Minna 2015). Minna 2015 LOC reiterated that such invitation was extended to all the farmers within their locality through the State Agricultural Development Agency. Unfortunately reasons for their absence at the forum could not be ascertained as at the time the Conference was convened.

  • Report from LAUTECH 2014 LOC

The report from LAUTECH 2014 LOC was delivered by Dr T.I. Olabiyi (Chair, Scientific sub-Committee). He submitted a hard copy of his report to the Secretariat for documentation. He indicated that the sum of N 85 000 was expended for the production of 100 copies of LAUTECH 2014 Conference Proceedings. He further indicated that N 21 000 had been credited to the National account. His attention was brought to the fact that outstanding amount of N 8 000 should be remitted also to the National account. The floor was of the opinion that a detailed financial breakdown should be provided by the Financial Secretary of LAUTECH 2014 LOC. In the light of the above observations the National Secretary was mandated to write officially to Prof. J.O. Olaniyi (Treasurer, LAUTECH 2014 LOC) to provide a detailed financial report of LAUTECH 2014 to the Secretariat through the Financial Secretary (LAUTECH 2014 LOC). The time frame for the submission was premised on the timely despatch of official request made earlier by the National Secretary. Dr T.I. Olabiyi however gave a pledge to follow up on all the outstanding fees that should be remitted to the Secretariat. It was also stated that the report from LAUTECH 2014 LOC should have been forwarded earlier to the Secretariat at least one month before the commencement of our Annual Conference/ Business Meeting.
Sequel to those earlier observations, it was suggested that henceforth the Secretariat should make available to the Annual Business Meeting a detailed financial report. It was also suggested that proper documentations should made on all the reports provided from the zonal offices.

  • Reports from zones
    • North West

The Coordinator for this zone was of the opinion that he was not properly briefed concerning his responsibilities, since his nomination was done in absentia. He was reminded that his tenure in office is now more than two years. This length of time would have provided him ample opportunity to get on board with the society’s activities especially at his zone. He indicated that his activities at his zone presently are restricted only to research. He promised to expand further on his range of activities at his zone.
It was suggested that he could liaise with other coordinators from other zones to fast track his engagement. It was announced that Prof Ekefan (Coordinator, North Central) was pronounced dead some time back. The floor observed a minute of silence as an act of respect for bereaved. In the interim Dr Salih Tayo Yusuf (FUT Minna) was nominated in an acting capacity to serve as the coordinator for North Central Zone. Dr (Mrs) Wakama was announced as the new coordinator for North East.
4.2 South East
 In this Zone membership form were dispatched to different locations as instructed by ISOFAR. It was also indicated that intensive efforts had been made on the mobilisation of people in this zone to embrace organic agriculture principles and practises.
4.3 South West
It was observed that there were no participants from LAUTECH at Minna 2015 except the Zonal Coordinator for this zone. This observation was attributed to the irregular payment of salaries at LAUTECH and the brewing feud between the joint owners (Osun and Oyo State governments) of the Institution. The major activity in this zone revolves around advocacy and research in organic agriculture by stakeholders at various Institutions in the Zone. 
4.4 South South
It was stated that one hectare of farm land was acquired for the practise of organic agriculture at UNICAL. Also, a baseline study was conducted to ascertain the level of expertise and implementation of organic agriculture principles and practises in this zone. It was also observed that principles and practises of organic agriculture were introduced recently in the curriculum of Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry and Wild Life Resources Management (UNICAL). The activities at this zone was further corroborated by the myriad of publications on organic agriculture and the dissemination of electronic copy of the just concluded Annual Conference/Business Meeting (Minna 2015) to all members at this zone
The general consensus from the members concerning the activities from the zones was that more needed to be done to attract more members into the fold. Displeasure was expressed concerning lack of adequate communication between the zones and the Secretariat. It was suggested that there should be constant visitation from the Secretariat to all the zones in the Federation. It was emphasised that this is what is obtainable in most of the functioning professional societies in the country. It was suggested that this action would facilitate proper planning and implementation of all OAPTIN programmes across the country. However, the Secretariat was of the opinion that communication channel was kept open at all times. It was indicated that timely information was disseminated to all registered members through email most of the time. This is evidenced in the constant update of all the zonal offices concerning the just concluded Minna 2015. It was reiterated that the zonal offices were to share such information with members in their zones. The Secretariat could also offer support to the zonal offices through well- articulated publicity, mobilisation and advocacy. It was observed that activities at the Secretariat were not meeting up to the strategic vision and mission of OAPTIN.

  • Reports from Editorial Board

It was reported that the idea about having a society journal was first indicated in 2009. However, the first volume of this journal (JOAEN) was published in 2013. As of date the Society have successfully published three volumes uninterrupted. It was indicated that the Editorial Board of JOAEN is broad based across different geographical locations and disciplines in agriculture. Copies of JOAEN were also disseminated to libraries across the country to ensure visibility. It was reported that manuscript processing is done electronically. This it was stated would ensure speedy review process as evidenced in response to submission within 24 hours. Furthermore, it was established that the review process, which is done electronically is given a timeframe of two weeks. Reviewer’s comments and assessments by three reviewers form the basis for the editor’s judgment. Provisional acceptance is given initially upon the reception of positive comments from reviewers, which is given final acceptance upon the full payment of page charges. It was reported that a donation of N 500 000 was extended to JOAEN by National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN). At the commencement of the publication of JOAEN a charge of N 5000 per publication was requested from authors. This charge was later reviewed upward considering the inflation trend and international best practises to N18 000 after the second volume. A total amount of N138 000 was realised at the launching and sales of JOAEN at LAUTECH 2014. It was reported that twenty copies of JOAEN was sold in the south east zone. However, it was observed that other zones failed to patronise and disseminate JOAEN. This income came from donations and page charges. It was indicated that 250 copies were printed for each volume. It was reported that a paltry sum of N 1000 per review was given to reviewers as honorarium. In some exceptional cases reviewers declined to accept such honorarium. It was also observed that some copies of JOAEN were dispatched through postage to their respective authors. It was agreed upon that changes in the charges per manuscript is subject to availability of sponsorship.  It was proposed that a service charge of N 20000 should henceforth be paid by prospective authors subject to further deliberations by the floor. The breakdown is as follows: N 5000 handling fee and N 15 000 page charges.
It was observed that there is the absence of indexing and abstracting of JOAEN in search engine. It was suggested that this observation is dependent on the quality and consistency of publication. It was highlighted that this process had been initiated with an alumni of FUNAAB in diaspora with such an expertise to fast track the process. It was indicated that JOAEN envisaged initial sponsorship by TETFUND. This is achievable through the implementation of earlier enumerated criteria.
It was agreed upon that subsequently reports should be made by the Secretariat to the ABM. It was indicated that all charges on JOAEN should be made through dedicated account of JOAEN that was recently approved by the National Coordinator, OAPTIN (VC, FUNAAB). It was reiterated that statutorily the National Coordinating Scientist should act as the Deputy Editor-in-Chief, while the National Secretary should be the Editor-in-chief. The Assistant National Secretary was saddled with the responsibility of editing the newsletter of OAPTIN. The Deputy Editor-in-Chief (Prof. J.J. Atungwu) was commended for a job well done on the editorial process and timely publication of JOAEN. It was indicated that JOAEN is the official society Journal of OAPTIN, well recognised worldwide. In the light of his commendable efforts and commitment to JOAEN, the current Deputy Editor-in-Chief was prevailed upon to continue dispensing his services in that capacity pending the time a well trained personnel is made available to take over from him. Further commendation was also made to the Editor-in-Chief (Prof. G.J. Bodunde).

  • Financial Report from the Secretariat

An abridged financial report from the Secretariat was made available to the floor. It was observed that the preceding regimes failed to provide a comprehensive financial statement. The following are the income and expenditure profile:

INCOME
Year                                                    Check-off (N)
2013                                                    92 000
2014                                                    21 000
2014                                                    100 000 (money from ex-National Treasurer)
2015                                                    50 000 (Loan, FUNAAB working group)
EXPENSES
            LAUTECH 2014
            Activity                                                                        Amount (N)
            Trip to LAUTECH (Fuel)                                                   18 000
            Travelling to LAUTECH (Steering Committee)                    33 000
            Executive expenses (Accommodation)                              20 000
            Breakfast                                                                       2 500
            Driver                                                                            500
            Rim of paper (Letter head)                                              10 000

 

FUTMINNA 2015    
            Activity                                                                                 Amount (N)
            Fuelling                                                                                12 800
            Accommodation (2 nights)                                                     20 000
            Per diem (3 days)                                                                 30 000
            Driver                                                                                  7 500
            Repairs of brake pad                                                             1 800
            Seed money (FUTMinna)                                                       100 000
However, the late renewal ($150) of IFOAM membership (2013) was generously paid by Prof. Aiyelaagbe (FUNAAB), while that of 2014 and 2015 were paid by OAPTIN working group (FUNAAB).     It was observed that membership due needs upward review in the light of prevailing circumstances. It was reported that the official website of OAPTIN had been conceptualised, designed and implemented. The Domain name is : www.oaptin.org The expenses for this was partly sourced from personal donations from some members and the National Account. It was also indicated that the money owed by Prof. Ofo (FUTO) is still pending till date, neither was there any record at the Secretariat indicating contrary opinion.
The adoption of financial report at 2015 ABM was moved by Prof. J.J. Atungwu and seconded by Prof. Ibeawuchi. The Secretariat was advised on the drive to improve the financial status of the society. The society was enjoined to leverage on the registered members to boost the finances of OAPTIN. Furthermore, the Treasurer was advised to be the driver of such effort considering her responsibilities in the Society. It was clarified that the check- off fee is the same as the annual dues, which should be incorporated into the registration fee. It was suggested that zonal coordinators should vigorously pursue annual membership dues at their respective zones with an updated membership register. Dr U.I. Mohammed indicated that he was personally responsible for his accommodation for two nights at Minna, despite the fact that he was entitled to a free accommodation as the Zonal Coordinator of the North West Zone. The bill he incurred totalled the sum of N 11000. Dr U.I. It was observed that he came a day earlier and was unable to locate Exco members OAPTIN on time, hence the this incidence.
FUT Minna made a pledge to remit check- off due at the shortest possible time. A new check-off fee of N 5 000 was proposed. This it was observed would have implication on registration fee. It was indicated that registration fee should be N 15 000 (cost of journal and proceeding inclusive), while enrolment of new members registration will be N 2 000.
The strategic plan of OAPTIN for the next five years was postponed for further deliberation in view of the time constrain observed to deliberate more on pending issues.

  • Hosting right  

Two proposals (UNIPORT & Kebbi State University of Science and Technology) were received indicating their willingness to host 12th Annual Conference/Business Meeting of OAPTIN. A telephone conversation expressing their desire to host the next Annual Conference/Business Meeting from both Institutions was assessed by members during the ABM. It was suggested that both parties should indicate their willingness formally for documentation. Decision on the final host shall be communicated to the eventual winner. It was suggested that the runner-up should host the 13th Annual Conference/Business Meeting.

  • Elections

This was postponed till the next ABM. The present executives were implored to carry on with their responsibilities in the present designations.

  • Other matters arising

Members were advised to network with ISOFAR. The benefits accruable from such professional networking were also highlighted. It was suggested that light refreshment should be made available at the ABM. Dr Askira was nominated as the Assistant National Secretary, OAPTIN. The existence of a student body on organic agriculture in Nigeria was also highlighted. The Secretariat was mandated to covey a condolence message to members of the family of the late Dr Egbe.
It was suggested that the Secretariat should officially get it touch with Prof. Solomon (UNICAL). This it was observed would alley her fears on breakdown of communication between her and the Secretariat. It was also suggested that signatories to the OAPTIN account should also be to that of JOAEN account. The ABM was adjoined by Prof. V.I.O. Olowe and seconded by Dr S.G. Aderibigbe.

  • Closing

The Closing prayer was made by Dr U.I. Muhammed at 9.19 PM.