On behalf of the Governing Council and the entire membership of the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators (ICMC), I welcome you all to the maiden launch of our five-year Strategic Action Plan and the Public Presentation of the Institute’s Mediation House Project. To those physically present, and those who have left their schedules and joined remotely, I thank you for being with us on this auspicious occasion.
The Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators is the professional body of dispute resolution practitioners with the mandate to promote, coordinate and regulate the practice of Mediation, train prospective dispute resolution practitioners, and encourage organizations and institutions to adopt Mediation and Conciliation as the preferred choice in the effective resolution of disputes.
ICMC was established in 1999, and after twenty-one (21) years, she has a membership strength of over ten thousand (10,000) professional Mediators and Conciliators, who not only come from various professional backgrounds, and but belong to twenty-one (21) branches across the country – Abuja, Kaduna, Kano, Jos, Minna, Lagos, Ibadan, Akure, Abeokuta, Ado Ekiti, Enugu, Abakaliki, Benin, Warri, Asaba, Onitsha, Awka, Port Harcourt, Uyo, Eket and Calabar and of course the diaspora.
The Institute has indeed grown over the years. Suffice it to say that with over eight hundred (800) Mediation Skills Accreditation and Certification trainings, as well as Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses conducted in Nigeria, and beyond, she has become a household name in Nigeria for training in Mediation, and is a recognized Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) professional body.
The Institute has developed in capacity and contributed to the advancement and acceptability of Mediation and other ADR processes in Nigeria. Most importantly, we are honoured to be associated with members who cut across various disciplines, organizations and institutions within and beyond the nation.
We are very proud of our accomplishments so far, and undertake to continually fulfill the mandate of our founding members to promote, standardize, and regulate the practice of Mediation, and encourage organizations and institutions to adopt Mediation and Conciliation in the effective management of disputes.
It is in keeping with this undertaking and objective that the 2021 – 2023 Executive Committee resolved to develop a five-year Strategic Action Plan which will guide the affairs of the Institute in the coming years to;
Today, we formally present for launch this Strategic Action Plan, which is the first in the history of the Institute. It explains the journey undertaken thus far, analyses our capacities, strength and weaknesses, sets out our strategic objectives to demonstrate to our members, as well as other stakeholders in the dispute management field, the private sector, and the general public, our plans for the growth trajectory of the Institute, and consequently, our hopes for the future.
The overall goal of the strategic action plan is an “Enhanced legal Environment and Structures for the Coordination and Practice of Mediation in Nigeria.” This plan in addition to this goal has the objective of making the Institute more inclusive in its operational capability, taking into cognizance emerging socio-cultural, socio-political, as well as socio-economic trends, and embracing and mainstreaming policies that address diversity and emerging trends in dialogue and mediation.
Professor Muhammed Tabi’u, SAN, a distinguished professor of law at the Bayero University, Kano, who has extensive experience in strategy consulting and development, and significant industry knowledge in conflict management, will give an objective review of our Strategic Action Plan and how it may impact the general landscape of peace and security in our country, and eventually beyond our borders.
We also have attending with us today founding members and pioneers, who are through their presence, continue to demonstrate their continued faith in the Institute they birthed. I acknowledge with profound regards and respect their support, inspiration, hope and guidance for successive leaderships of the institute. We also have attending this auspicious event, our strategic partners such the Nigerian Bar Association led by the President, the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding, ECOWAS Commission, and other partners in the dispute resolution sphere we eloquently captured in the stakeholders analysis and society at large.
In addition to the launch of the Strategic Action Plan, today we present to the public our largest physical project, which began in December 2018 during the tenure of my predecessor in office – Chief Emeka J.P. Obegolu, with the support of the 2017 – 2020 Executive Committee. This project, which was endorsed by our Council and aptly named the “ICMC Mediation House”, will house our growing Secretariat – the engine room of the Institute, training and conference rooms, standard dispute resolution facilities, knowledge management, research and development centre, and office spaces which will be available for lease.
The Mediation House Project has been completed to roof level, and is located on Airport Road, within the vicinity of the Abuja Trade & Convention Centre, owned and run by the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which remains a steadfast partner of the Institute. I salute the vision of my predecessor in office and on behalf of the executive committee which I lead, undertake to see the project to completion.
In pursuit of the completion of this project, we have received and drawn on the financial support of our members particularly our fellows and founding members. We welcome the support of the entire members of the Institute and other stakeholders and partners. While this is not a fund-raising event, we believe that the public presentation of the “Mediation House” is important to showcase ICMC’s growth trajectory and vision. Persons interested in partnering with us in this regard may wish to contact the secretariat.
We believe the completion of the ICMC Mediation House will not only be of benefit to the Institute, but to the entire dispute resolution industry through the recognition of a facility that is fully committed to appreciating the efficacy of Mediation, and supporting its advancement.
While we are grateful for the heights the Institute has reached, we have many significant plans for the future, and to achieve these plans we rely on the support of our members, and the strategic partnership of notable stakeholders who believe in our mission and mandate.
According to John. M. Bryson in his seminal work “Strategic Planning for Public and Non-Profit Organizations, the purpose of a Strategic Plan is “to create public value”. The responsibility to create such value lies not just with the Executive Committee of the Institute but all its members. Consequently, I enjoin all to please support the implementation of the Strategic Action Plan because “Strategic Management is more inclusive in scope than Strategic Planning”.
I cannot conclude this address without expressing my profound gratitude to the Executive Committee and all staff of the Secretariat. You have been awesome in your support towards ensuring that today is a success.
To our distinguished guests and members of this great but noble Institute, I thank you again for committing your time and resources to hear firsthand our goals for the future of the Institute and the dispute resolution field. We trust that you will work with us to realize these goals.
Thank you and God bless.
Agada John Elachi Ph.D.