Incorporated in Nigeria in 2012 Under the
Companies and Allied Matters Act,
Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990
CHAPTER 1: NAME:
The Name of the Organization shall be: Nigerian Forum for Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services (hereinafter called NIFAEAS or referred to as the Forum).
CHAPTER 2: DEFINITIONS:
In this constitution, unless otherwise explicitly stated:
Clause (a) The “Constitution” means the Constitution of the Nigerian Forum for Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services abbreviated as NIFAEAS.
- “Rule” includes general rules and byelaws of the Institute.
- “Membership” shall include Ordinary, Life, Corporate Honorary, and Fellow.
- “General Meeting” means the meeting of all members convened for conducting any business of the Institute.
- “General Body” mean all the members taken together.
- “Property” means all assets of the Forum including fund.
- “General Assembly” is the annual meeting of the General Body.
(h) “Agricultural Extension and Advisory Service” an important component of Agricultural and Rural Development, an informal educational process in strengthening capacities, empowering rural people and promoting innovations that will help them overcome occupational challenges, take advantage of market opportunities to create wealth and improve their livelihoods.
CHAPTER 3: JURISDICTION:
The NIFAAS shall have jurisdiction all over Nigeria and shall be affiliated with the African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS), Network of Agricultural and Rural Advisory Services of West and Central African countries (NARAS_WCA) and the Global Forum on Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS) and any other Organizations and Networks with similar goals and objectives.
The NIFAEAS Secretariat shall be situated at a location decided by the General Body but now, temporarily located at the NAERLS/ABU, Zaria, as agreed at the NIFAEAS launch in the Fadama III Conference Room, Abuja, July 23rd 2011. It shall maintain the NAERLS/ABU, Zaria Secretariat until it has become financially independent and able to establish its own Secretariat as an independent and registered regulatory body.
CHAPTER 4: GOALS AND OBJECTIVES:
The overall goal of NIFAEAS: to develop and promote agricultural extension and advisory services to have sufficient capacity to effectively support value chain actors towards increasing agricultural productivity, food security, and improved livelihoods in a sustainable manner for all Nigerians.
Clause (a) Bring together agricultural Advisory Service (AS) providers and stakeholders in Nigeria.
Clause (b) Promote the development of Agricultural Advisory Services (AAS) at the National level: linking AAS stakeholders with CAADP processes and to other Regional Networks e.g. the Network of Agricultural and Rural Advisory Services in West and Central Africa (NARAS_WCA), and International Networks involved in AAS, the African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS) and the Global Forum for Rural advisory Services (GFRAS).
Clause (c) Share experiences and lessons
Clause (d) Promote the exchange of information on best global practices in agricultural extension and advisory services.
Clause (e) To actively interact with Agricultural Research, Technology Dissemination and AdaptationInstitutions for the development and dissemination of relevant and proven technologies that will meet the needs of all value chain actors.
Clause (f) Identify and exploit the opportunities for providing services in line with best global practices, for both AEAS providers and clients alike.
Clause (g) Regulate the activities of all Agricultural Extension and Advisory Service Providers, Individuals, Groups, Corporate, both Public and Private.
CHAPTER 5: MEMBERSHIP:
The Institute shall have the following Membership types:
Clause (a) Ordinary
- Fellow of the Forum
Eligibility for membership:
Clause (a) Ordinary:
Any Professional in Agriculture or Rural Development or related disciplines shall be eligible for ordinary membership subject to the payment of prescribed fees and dues.
Clause (b) Life:
Any person eligible for ordinary membership and pays the prescribed fees shall be eligible for life membership.
- Corporate Membership:
Any organization, public or private whose mandate and activities are in the areas of, or related to agricultural extension and advisory services provision in Nigeria, shall be eligible for corporate membership, subject to the payment of prescribed fees as per rules and bye-laws of the Forum.
Clause (c) Honorary:
Any person who has achieved National or International recognition for his significant contributions in the field of Agriculture and Rural Development may be conferred with honorary membership of the NIFAEAS as a mark of respect, recognition and honor.
Clause (e) Fellow of the Forum:
“Fellow” may be conferred on any member of NIFAEAS adjudged by NIFAEAS to have made significant contributions to the development of the Forum, and the profession of agricultural extension and advisory services. Fellows of the Forum are permitted to put the abbreviation FNIFAEAS after their names.
Rights and Privileges of the Members:
All members of NIFAEAS shall have the same rights, privileges and duties except, the honorary members who shall have neither the right to vote nor the right to seek for election into any position on the Executive Council of the Forum.
Mode of Admission:
Application for ordinary and life membership shall be submitted to the Secretary-General on the prescribed form along with Registration fee for the category of membership desired and required annual subscription. The Secretary-General shall, on receipt of the same, admit the applicant subject to the approval of the Executive Council.
Each member having been registered by the institute will receive a membership certificate indicating his membership category and registration number. In case of denial of membership by the Forum, all monies paid by the applicant shall be refunded.
Honorary membership shall be conferred to an eligible persons by a resolution in a General Meeting after his/her name has been proposed by a member in good financial standing and seconded by another of the same status and subsequently endorsed by at least two-thirds (2/3) of the members present.
Membership Registration and Annual Subscription:
An eligible person willing to be an ordinary or life member, or an organization wishing to be registered as a Corporate member of NIFAEAS, shall pay the registration fees and annual subscription as prescribed by the General Body at the general assembly from time to time.
Termination of Membership
Clause (a) Membership shall terminate upon death, or resignation, or expulsion, or failure to pay the prescribed annual subscriptions for a maximum period of two consecutive years provided that:
- In case of resignation, membership shall continue until it is accepted by the Executive Council or the expiry of six months from the date of receipt of the resignation letter whichever comes first,
(ii) There shall be no refund of any subscription or fee paid on the ground of such termination,
(iii) That resignation, may be withdrawn before it is accepted.
Clause (b) No one shall be expelled by the Forum except by a resolution signed by at least ten (10) ordinary members in view of the current membership of the Forum, at a duly convened General Meeting and endorsed by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the members present. There shall be no expulsion except on grounds that:
(i) the member has been found guilty of a grievous act or convicted by a court of law;
(ii) the activity of the member is viewed as prejudicial to the interest of the Forum. A member so terminated shall however, be liable to the Forum for any indebtedness due upon him.
CHAPTER VI: THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL OF NIFAEAS:
The management of the affairs of the NIFAEAS shall be vested in an Executive Council consisting of the following officers:
(a) President : One
(b) Vice-President : Two (I & II)
(c) Secretary-General : One
(d) Asst. Secretary-General : One
(e) Treasurer : One
(f) Financial Secretary : One
(g) Public Relations Officers : One
(f) Auditor : One
(i) Editor : One
(j) Ex-Officio Members : Two
The tenure of the Executive Council shall be two consecutive calendar years. Any member of the Executive Council shall be eligible for re-election only once.
The Functions of the Executive Council
Clause (a) The Executive Council shall formulate and work to achieve the Vision, Mission, Goal and Objectives of NIFAEAS according to the rules and bye-laws and be responsible to the General Body of the Institute.
- Prepare the Annual Work Plan and Budget, and Annual Report and judiciously disburse the funds of the Institute according to the laid down financial rules and regulations.
- Hold Annual General Meeting, Continuing Vocational Training Courses for Members, conduct prescribed examinations/tests for members, and organize conferences, workshops etc.
- Register and Certify members for the practice of Agricultural Extension and Rural Advisory Services,
- Appoint committee(s)/sub-committee(s) for specific purposes as at when required for specific assignments by the Institute.
- Be responsible for the conduct of elections as laid down in the Constitution and as at when due.
Meeting of the Executive Council:
Clause (a) Decisions of the Executive Committee shall be adopted by majority of votes of the members present in a meeting of the Forum.
- One-third of the members of the Executive Council shall constitute the quorum for a meeting or official activity.
- Proceedings and resolutions of the meetings of the Executive Council shall be recorded and maintained in a book of Proceedings Book. The report of the proceedings of the meeting shall be presented by the Secretary-General before the next meeting of the Council and be countersigned by the President after adoption by the Council.
- If a member fails to attend three consecutive meetings of the Executive Council without a valid reason acceptable to the Executive Council, he shall cease to be a member of the Council.
- The Executive Council can make byelaws on any matter as appropriate provided that:
- Such byelaws are not inconsistent or repugnant to the constitution or to the aims and objectives of the Forum.
- The byelaws shall be placed for approval before the General Body. Those approved shall be incorporated into the constitution and those rejected, if any, shall be abolished forthwith.
Dissolution of the Executive Council:
Clause (a) The Executive Council can only be dissolved by a “no confidence” motion passed by two-thirds of the members present in a meeting of the General Body. Such motion shall be brought by a written application addressed to the President under signatures by at least one-quarters (¼) of the total members having voting rights as at that meeting.
Clause (b) The President in such case shall ask the Secretary-General to convene a General Meeting to consider the issue within 15 days but not earlier than one week from the date of receipt of the application. If the “no confidence” motion succeeds, fresh election must be held within two months of the meeting.
The functions of the Office Holders of the Executive Council
Clause (a) President:
(i) The President shall be the Chief Executive officer of NIFAEAS and shall exercise such powers as have been prescribed for that office by the Constitution.
- He/She shall preside over the General Assembly and the meetings of the Executive Council
- The President shall have a casting vote in case of any tie of votes in any meeting of NIFAEAS.
- The President may, in the interest of the Institute, direct the Bank to stop payment to the Secretary-General and the Treasurer, or any other Officer for that matter and, the Bank shall, until otherwise directed by the President, stop such payments.
Clause (b) Vice-Presidents:
In the absence of the President, the first Vice-President shall exercise the normal powers and functions of the President at all official functions of the Forum. The second Vice-President shall perform all duties of the President and the first Vice-president in their absence.
Clause (c) Secretary-General
(i) The General Secretary shall perform such functions and exercise such powers as laid down in this constitution. He/she shall be responsible to the President and the Executive Council and the General Body for all his/her functions and activities.
- He/She shall maintain the minutes, records and proceedings of all meetings as outlined in Chapter VII, Article 3 (c).
- He/she shall be the custodian of all properties of the Institute excluding funds and shall take such steps as he/she deems appropriate for proper safeguard and maintenance of the same. All properties owned, purchased and received as donation by the Forum shall be entered by him/her in a stock book.
- He/she shall prepare the annual budget in consultation with the Executive Committee and place it before the General Body for approval.
- He/she shall prepare the annual report of the Forum.
- He/she shall carry out communications, express opinion and maintain liaison with other organizations and exchange ideas and information on agricultural extension and advisory services, keeping the national as well as professional interest of the Forum in view.
Clause (d) Assistant Secretary-General
The Assistant Secretary-General shall assist the Secretary-General in all matters and shall exercise such powers and perform such functions as may be assigned to him/her by the Secretary-General as well as by the Executive Council. In the absence of the Secretary-General, the Assistant Secretary-General shall perform all functions of the Secretary-General.
Clause (e) Treasurer
- The Treasurer shall be the custodian of the funds of NIFAEAS and shall disburse all payments on behalf of the Forum.
- He/she shall maintain a Cash Book and enter all receipts and disbursements and shall be responsible for the proper accounts of the funds of the Forum. The cash book shall be kept up to date and the Executive Council should be informed about the fund position.
- The Treasurer shall deposit all money received by him/her on behalf of the Forum with a scheduled Bank as determined by the Executive Council and the account shall be operated jointly by him/her, the President, and the Secretary-General. In case of his/her absence for 15 days or more, the Second Vice-President shall act as the Treasurer.
Clause (f) Financial Secretary
The Financial Secretary of NIFAEAS shall receive monies on behalf of the Forum and shall pay same to the Treasurer within a reasonable time of receipt of such monies. He/she shall keep accurate records of all monies received and shall comply with any regulations made by the Executive Council to safeguard the funds of NIFAEAS.
- All general purchases and payments shall be made by him/her on behalf of the Institute and he/she shall take necessary sanction from the Executive Council. Documents, Vouchers, etc for such purchases shall be handed over to the Treasurer after proper certification by him/her for audit purpose.
Clause (g) Publicity Secretary
He/she shall be responsible for publicizing the Forum’s activities, decisions and programs and perform other duties as may be directed by the Executive Council.
Clause (h) Auditor
(i) The NIFAEAS Auditor shall thoroughly examine all the Accounts books kept by the Treasurer and/or the Financial Secretary, check all receipts and payments and certify them accordingly.
- He/she shall prepare a report on the financial position of the Institute and the manner in which the accounts have been kept.
Clause (i) Editor
He/she shall be responsible for all the publications of the Institute including the Institute’s Newsletters and any other special publications and printed materials deemed appropriate to be published or printed by the Executive Council, on behalf of NIFAEAS. He shall also distribute copies of such publications to the members of the Forum.
Clause (j) Rights and Powers of Members of the Executive Council
(i) All members of the Executive Committee shall have the same rights and privileges, obligations and duties within the Executive Council except their special powers and functions as provided by the constitution for their individual offices.
- A member shall exercise such power and perform such duties as may be assigned to him by the Executive Council.
- Rights of Appeal
Any aggrieved member of NIFAEAS or prospective applicant for membership may appeal to the Executive Council, any decision of the President, Secretary General or Executive Council. Where the appellant is not satisfied with the decision of the Executive Council, such appeal shall be taken to the General Body.
CHAPTER VII: STATUS OF NIFAEAS:
NIFAEAS shall be a non-political professional, corporate body and be registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in Nigeria.
All properties including funds shall be acquired, owned and used for the name and interest of NIFAEAS and shall belong to the said Forum.
In case NIFAEAS ceases to exist, the properties shall be vested in the Board of Trustees.
CHAPTER VIII: BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Clause (a) The Board of Trustees shall consist of no less than three members but not more than five people who have been adjudged to have made significant contributions to humanity particularly in the areas of agriculture and rural development.
Clause (b) They shall be nominated by any member of NIFAEAS in good financial standing and approved by a two-third majority of the General Assembly of the Institute.
Clause (c) A Trustee shall hold office for life provided that he shall cease to hold office under any of the following circumstances;
- if he becomes of unsound mind, or
- If he becomes bankrupt or
- if by notice in writing to the Executive Council resigns his office as Trustee,
- If the members in a general meeting, by a simple resolution removes a person from the office of Trustees.
The Trustees shall have vested in them all real and personal estate and whatever belongs to the Forum and they shall deal with it in such ways as the National Executive Council of NIFAEAS may direct.
In the event of death, resignation or removal of a Trustee from office, the office shall be filled by the National Executive Council in accordance with the Constitution.
Meeting of the Board:
Clause (a) The Board of Trustees may meet together for the dispatch of business, adjourn and otherwise regulate their meetings as they deem fit.
Clause (b) The Board of Trustees shall determine the quorum necessary for transaction of business. Unless otherwise determined, three for a membership of five, and two, for a membership of three, shall form a quorum.
Clause (c) The Board of Trustees shall from time to time elect a Chairman who shall be entitled to preside at all meetings of the Board at which he shall be present, and may determine for what period he is to hold office, but if no such chairman be elected, or if at any meeting the chairman be not present within five minutes after the time appointed for holding the meeting and willing to preside, the members of the board present shall choose one of their members to be chairman of the meeting.
CHAPTER IX: THE GENERAL BODY / ASSEMBLY:
Article 1: Nigerian Forum for Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services (NIFAEAS) shall hold a general assembly every calendar year as its annual general meeting at such time and place as may be determined by the Executive Council and approved by a simple majority of the members.
Article 2: All general meetings other than the annual general meeting shall be called extra ordinary general meetings.
Article 3: The General Body is the assembly of ordinary, life, honorary and representatives of corporate members. The General Body shall have the following powers and perform the functions as well:
Clause (a) It shall be the supreme authority of the Forum in all matters and shall sit at least once a year. After election, the newly elected Executive Council shall take charge, and as many other occasions as the interest of the Forum calls for.
Clause (b) A meeting of the General Body known as General Assembly/Meeting shall be convened by the Secretary-General with at least 21 days’ notice provided that in case of emergency, the Executive Council may authorize the Secretary-General to call such meeting on a shorter notice of not less than three days.
Clause (c) The Secretary-General, also on receipt of a written requisition by one-third (1/3) of the members of the Forum having voting rights and with agenda specified, shall call a General Meeting.
Clause (d) Proceedings and resolutions of the General Meeting shall be entered in the Proceedings Book and be countersigned by the President.
Functions of General Assembly/Meeting:
The General Meeting Shall:
Clause (a) Consider the activities of the Institute for the past year and approve the audited financial report
Notices of Meeting:
Clause (a) A notice may be served by NIFAEAS upon any member, either personally or through any other approved means, addressed to such member at his registered address as appearing in the register of members.
Clause (b) Any member described in the register of members by an address not within Nigeria who shall from time to time give NIFAEAS an address within Nigeria at which notice may be served upon him, shall be entitled to have notices served upon him at such address, but save as aforesaid, only members described in the register of members by an address within Nigeria shall be entitled to receive notices and in other official communications from NIFAEAS.
CHAPTER X: NIFAEAS ELECTION:
An Election Commission comprising of three electoral members nominated and approved by a simple majority of the General Assembly (Chapter X, Article 2,
Clauses (a-k) below) shall conduct the election of the Executive Council as per Rules and Regulations. The election of the Executive Council members shall be held in every two years.
Electoral Commission and Election Procedures:
Clause (a) An Election Commission consisting of the Chairman and two members shall be formed in the General Meeting of the Forum. The Chairman and the members of the Election Commission must be valid members of the Institute. The tenure of the Election Commission shall be two years, the same as that of the Executive Council.
Clause (b) The Electoral Commission shall prepare the list of voters and issue nomination papers.
Clause (c) The duly filled nomination papers shall be submitted to the Chairman of the Election Commission.
Clause (d) Only a valid voter is entitled to propose and second the nomination of a candidate.
Clause (e) On the scrutiny of the nomination papers the Electoral Commission shall prepare the final ballot papers, and hold the election by secret ballot during the business meeting of the Forum.
Clause (f) Any valid candidate willing to withdraw his/her nomination paper must do so before voting takes place.
Clause (g) The result of the election shall be announced by the Chairman of the Electoral Commission and ballots shall be delivered to the President of the Institute in a sealed cover.
Clause (h) If no nomination paper or papers is or are submitted for one or more position or positions, the Electoral Commission shall solicit three nominations from the floor of the house, and whoever is so elected by majority vote shall be treated as duly elected.
Clause (i) It shall be binding upon the office bearers of the Executive Council to handover charge to their newly elected counterparts within two (2) days from the date of election.
Clause (j) The Electoral Commission shall appoint Returning Officers from amongst its members to conduct the election.
Clause (k) The election shall be held at a General Meeting and the final results of election shall be announced before the end of the meeting.
CHAPTER XI: FUND:
Clause (a) All receipts, cash or materials shall constitute the fund of the NIFAEAS and shall be maintained in scheduled Banks for general or separate special accounts as the case may be and approved by the Executive Council.
Clause (b) Subject to the approval of the General Body, the Executive Council is empowered to constitute special fund for accomplishing specific activities and functions of NIFAEAS.
Clause (c) The management of the general and all special funds shall be vested on the Treasurer of the Forum unless otherwise specified.
Clause (d) All receipts and expenses of all funds shall be maintained in separate cash books.
Clause (e) Unless otherwise stated, all bank transactions shall be executed under the joint signatures of the President, Secretary-General and the Treasurer or any two of them.
Clause (f) All material assets of NIFAEAS must be registered in separate stock books by the Secretary-General of the Forum.
Clause (g) Until fully independent financially as a regulatory body for Agricultural Advisory Services, a one-member audit team as nominated by the Executive Council shall audit all accounts of the Forum and present a report to the General Body at the Annual General Meeting of the Forum.
Fund Raising and Publicity:
Clause (a) NIFAEAS through its Board of Trustees or the Executive Council, may obtain, and receive money and funds by way of subscriptions, contributions, donations, legacies, endowments, loans, grants, or any other lawful method and accept and receive any gifts or property of any description whether subject to any special trust or not.
Clause (b) The Trustees or Executive Council of NIFAEAS may take such steps by personal, written, broadcasts or television appeals or advertisements, public meetings, exhibitions, receptions, entertainment, film shows, sales of booklets and any other legal form may from time to time, as deemed necessary for procuring contributions or donations or income for the trust fund.
Power to Borrow:
Clause (a) The Executive Council of NIFAEAS may from time to time and as may be required, borrow from any person, company, association or any other organization any moneys required for the purposes of the furtherance of the goals and objectives of NIFAEAS, at such reasonable terms as to the repayment of the principal, interest and on such security as they may deem fit.
CHAPTER XII: GENERAL PROVISIONS
Clause (a) NIFAEAS shall have a common seal containing the logo of the Forum and shall be in custody of the Secretary-General who will use it as directed by Executive Council.
Clause (b) The seal shall not be affixed to any instrument except by the authority of the Executive Council and in the presence of at least one member of the Council and of the Secretary-General, and the said member and Secretary shall sign every instrument to which the seal shall be so affixed. Such signatures shall be conclusive evidence of the fact that the seal has been properly affixed.
Deed of Execution
All deeds of the NIFAEAS shall be executed on its behalf by at least three members of the Board of Trustees.
CHAPTER XIII: INTERPRETATION AND AMENDMENT
Clause (a) ‘NIFAEAS’ in this Constitution shall mean NIGERIAN FORUM FOR AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION AND ADVISORY SERVICES.
Clause (b) ‘Act’ in this Constitution shall mean “The Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990 and/or any Act amending or replacing same.
Clause (c) Any question as to the interpretation of any article or clause of the constitution shall be decided by the Executive Council.
One-third of the members of the NIFAEAS Executive Council may bring a proposal for the amendment of the constitution. Proposal for amendments shall be passed by two-third members present in a General Meeting.
The amendments so adopted at the General Meeting shall subsequently be submitted to the Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission for his final approval.
CHAPTER XIV: DISPUTE RESOLUTION:
In case of any dispute arising between NIFAEAS and any external body, all appropriate avenues shall be exhausted in resolving the dispute peacefully.
If the peaceful means fail, NIFAEAS shall resort to the court of Arbitration.
CHAPTER XIIV: SPECIAL CLAUSE:
THE INCOME AND PROPERTY OF NIFAEAS wherever and whenever derived, shall be applied solely towards the promotion of the goals and objectives of the Nigerian Forum for Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services as set forth in these RULES AND REGULATIONS/CONSTITUTION, and no portion thereof shall be paid or transferred directly or indirectly, to the members of the NIFAEAS except as permitted by or under the Act.
LIST OF FIRST TRUSTEES
Name of Persons appointed to the First Board of Trustees are:
- Senator (Dr.) Abdullahi Adamu, Seating Senator, Farmer, and former Executive Governor of Nassarawa State, Abuja, Nigeria.
- Alhaji Bukar Tijani, Hon. Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, FMARD, Area 11, Garki, Abuja.
- Mr. O.A. Edache, Former Permanent Secretary, FMARD and Former FAO Asst. Director-General (FAO Africa Regional Office, Accra), Abuja
- Engr. Charles Ugwu, Former Hon. Minister for Commerce and Industry, and Chairman, Ebony Agro Industry (Makers of Ebony Rice), Abakaliki.
- Dr. Abimbola Adewumi, Former Director of ARMTI, and now Executive Director, Leventis Foundation (Nigeria), Leventis House, Lagos