Our Constitution

CONSTITUTION OF THE NIGERIAN ASSOCIATION OF GREATER TOLEDO

PREAMBLE:

We, the people of Nigeria living in Greater Toledo and other parts of Northwest Ohio, dedicated to the progress and strength of our community, assembled at St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Toledo on Saturday June 14, 2003, do hereby constitute ourselves into an ASSOCIATION, and subscribe to the terms of this constitution.

ARTICLE 1: NAME

The organization shall be called The “NIGERIAN ASSOCIATION OF GREATER TOLEDO” and shall hereinafter be referred in this document as “The Association or NAGT.”

ARTICLE 2: OBJECTIVES

  1. To work cooperatively with public and private agencies, businesses, industries and community organizations on issues beneficial to members of NAGT and the larger community.
  2. To unite all Nigerian people in Greater Toledo and other parts of Northwest Ohio
  3. To promote social, educational, cultural, and economic interests of Nigerians.
  4. To foster good relationship between and among Nigerians and  members of other communities and citizens of Greater Toledo and  Northwest Ohio

ARTICLE 3: MEMBERSHIP

Section 1:        Membership Eligibility

  1. Membership shall be open to all Nigerians by virtue of birth, marriage, adoption/naturalization, and other interested individuals residing in Toledo and Northwest Ohio
  2. Such individuals shall be responsible members of the society

Section 2:        Categories of Membership

a.     Full membership- full membership shall be as outlined in Section 1 above; members shall be fully registered and dues-paying

Full members shall have the following categories:

(i).              Individual membership: single person or individual

(ii).             Family membership:  Couple with or without children under the age of 18 or in full time education

(iii)             Senior members:    Members who are 65 years old and older

b.     Associate membership- shall be as outlined in Section 1 above, and

(i)                 are below 18 years of age

(ii)               members who are severe or chronic illness (with illnesses such as terminal illness or paralysis or severely disabled

(iii)       Associate members shall be exempt from paying dues

c.     Honorary membership- honorary membership shall be conferred on a non-member who has identified with the objectives and aspirations of the association

Honorary members shall

(i)                 Participate in events of the association

(ii)               Not have voting rights

(iii)             Would not be eligible for members’ benefits

Section 3:        Criteria for Honorary Membership

a.       A written or oral recommendation addressed to the executive council by a member in good standing shall indicate his/her criteria for nominating such candidate.

b.      A recommendation by the executive council shall be presented to the general assembly.

c.       Upon recommendation by the executive council and a simple majority vote of full members present, the nominee shall be conferred with honorary membership.

d.      Upon the approval, the honoree shall be informed of the   general house decision through whoever nominates him/her.

Section 4:        Membership in Good Standing

A member shall be deemed to be in good standing if the member:

a.       Is fully registered.

b.      Has paid annual dues and other financial commitments

c.       Attends at least three general meetings and participated in other activities of the association

d.      Participates in the activities that a member has been assigned

ARTICLE 4: MEETINGS

Section 1:        General Meeting

a.       A general meeting shall be held every two months of the year

b.      The general meeting shall be held on the third (3rd) Saturday of that month unless on special situation(s) and as determined by the executives.

c.       The time for the meeting shall be 5.00pm.  The meeting shall begin as soon as a quorum is formed. Meetings shall be adjourned if no quorum is gotten after 30 minutes.

d.      Members shall have the obligation to be present and participate in scheduled meetings.

e.       A meeting shall end after a motion for adjournment raised by a member and supported by another member

f.       The general assembly shall have the power to initiate special contributions or donations when the need arises

g.      General meetings shall be hosted by interested individual member(s) or group of members at their convenient venues

Section 2:        Special or Emergency Meeting

a.       At the discretion of the President (or his or her designee) , a special or emergency meeting shall be summoned at any time as the need arises

b.      Such meeting shall not replace, interfere, or interrupt scheduled general meetings

c.       The meeting shall address only the particular issue at hand

d.      All actions/decisions resulting from the meeting shall be binding on all members

Section 3:        Executive Meeting

a.       An executive meeting shall normally precede every general meeting, and may be held when necessary by president or other members of the executive council.

b.      All executive members are expected to be present.

c.       The place, time, and agenda shall be determined by the president.

Section 4:        Quorum

a.       At a general/emergency meeting, ten (10) members shall form a quorum.

b.      A general meeting shall be cancelled if after 30 minutes, a quorum is not formed

ARTICLE 5: FUNDS

Section 1:        Fund-Raising

The association shall raise funds through the following means:-

  1. Membership Dues:

(i)                 Individual Members:  Shall pay a one-time registration fee of $25 and an annual dues of $60

(ii)                Family membership:  shall pay a one-time registration fee of $40 and an annual dues of $100 per year

(iii)             To qualify as a GOOD STANDING member, a full payment shall be expected by March 31 of each year. Installment payments between January and March shall be considered. A failure to pay in full by March 31st of each year, a defaulting member shall incur a one-time charge of $10. Subsequently, there would be a charge of $5 per month.  Failure to pay in full by June 30th of that year would lead to suspension of membership.  Membership shall be restored after a full payment is received.

  1. The association shall organize special events to raise funds.
  2. The association shall accept grants/gifts from members to support special events organized by the association.
  3. Members may be asked for voluntary donations when such need arises.

ARTICLE 4: FORMATION AND EXPECTATIONS OF COMMITTEES

Section 1:        Formation and Membership of Committees

  1. Each member shall be seconded as a member of one or two standing committees.
  2. Each Standing Committee shall have at least three members.
  3. Committees would be expected to work on a task or two within a given period of time.
  4. Members of a standing committee shall serve for a specified period but shall not exceed two years.
  5. Committee chairs would be expected to report to the general house at every meeting on progress made on their projects.
  6. Members of the executive could also serve on standing committee(s) or could be appointed a committee chairperson.
  7. Members shall be free to serve on more than one committee.

Section 2:        Standing Committees

  1. Social Committee
  2. Membership committee
  3. Fundraising/financial committee
  4. Liaison & Public relations committee
  5. Community Service committee.
  6. Activities/Program committee

Section 3:  Responsibilities of each committee

  1. Social Committee

(i).        The social committee shall be a standing committee, comprising of three to five members, which shall include      the PRO.

(ii)        Organize social and cultural events

(iii).      Scout for opportunities to further our causes in the community.

B.                  Membership Committee

(i)                 Be responsible for membership drive.

(ii)               Coordination of membership benefits.

(iii)              Recruits young members from higher institutions of learning.

C.                Fundraising/Financial committee:

(i)     Arrange events to raise money for the association all year round.

(ii)   Be responsible for ensuring members pay their annual dues on time.

(iii)  The financial secretary shall be a member for easy coordination.

D.      Community Service Committee

(i)        Shall be responsible for promoting the public image of the association.

(ii)      Scout for opportunities to further our cause within the community.

(iii)    The PRO shall be the Chairperson.

PROGRAM/ACTIVITIES COMMITTEE

1. The chairperson shall be the Vice President.

2. Draws/and or chart various activities for each and every Standing Committee to work on.

3. Shall be responsible to apportioning projects to every standing committee.

4. Ensure that there are programs for every meeting.

E.         Adhoc Committee

An adhoc committee shall be appointed or nominated to look into any of the following issues. The committee is dissolved at the completion of its assignments.

(i).           Mediation and Reconciliation.

(ii)           Auditing

(iii).         Group insurance.

(iv)           Nigerian house

(v)             Constitution Review

(vi)            Formalizing and Updating IRS records and    other issues.

a.     An adhoc committee shall be appointed for special assignments when the need arises.

b.     An  adhoc committees shall deal with mediatory & reconciliatory issues referred to the association by an aggrieved member.

c.     At the end of each year, an adhoc committee shall audit the finances of the association

d.     No member of the executive council shall be appointed as an auditor

e.     Ad hoc committee shall be appointed to deal with any discrepancies that arise from the audit report

ARTICLE 7: MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS

Section 1: Disbursement from Association’s Account(s)

Notwithstanding the sum total of individual members’ free donations that would be handed to a particular member who is on a good standing with the association when any of these occasion arises, he/she shall be entitled to the following benefits from NAGT as a purse and as here-under applied.

In case of [a], such purse shall be handed over to the next of kin/beneficiary as seen on association’s records.

a.         Death of a Member:                                 $1000

b.         Death of a Member’s Parent                   $200

c.         Death of a Member’s child                       $250

d.         Wedding Celebration                                 $200

(if officially invited as a group)

f.                   Birth of a new baby                            $100

g.         Donations to associate and/or honorary members shall be strictly voluntary, whereas no cash shall come from the association.

ARTICLE 8: SOCIAL/CULTURAL EVENTS.

The Association’s social and cultural events shall include the following:

a.     Nigerian Independence Day Celebration (October)

b.     End-of-year (Christmas/New year) celebrations

c.     Social committee shall organize other events as necessary.

ARTICLE 9: OFFICERS

Section 1: Executive Council

The Association shall have the following officers hereinafter known as “the Executive Council:

a.     The President

b.     The Vice President

c.     The Secretary

d.     The Assistant Secretary

e.     The Treasurer

f.        The Financial Secretary

g.     The Public Relations Officer

h.     The Provost

Section 2:  Board of Directors

Five to seven members shall be appointed for a two-year term.

The Board shall have the following functions:

a.     To provide custodianship on the association’s property.

b.     Serve as an advisory board to the executive body.

c.     To provide advice on policies and practices of the association.

d.     To study and make recommendations on issues referred to them by the association and/or executive council.

e.     To bring to the attention of the executive council matters and issues which may advance the purpose of the association?

Sections 3:    Duties of officers:

a.           The President shall exercise the functions as listed below:

(i)                 Presides over all general meetings.

(ii)               Votes only in case of a tie.

(iii)              Appoints all committees chairpersons subject to the approval of the Executive Committee.

(iv)            Calls emergency and special meetings when advisable and appropriate.

(v)              Serves as ex-officio member of all committees.

(vi)            Acts on behalf of the general membership upon approval and/or in the event of emergency.

b.        The Vice President:

1.  Presides at the absence of the President.

2. Attend to business charged by the general assembly.

3. Serves as chairperson of Program/Activities Committee.

c.         The Secretary shall:

  1. Issue notices of meetings and conducts the general correspondence of the association.
  2. Record the meetings of the general assembly and   executive council.
  3. Keep the general membership informed as to membership affairs.
  4. Receive and maintain correspondences on behalf of the association
  5. Maintains a current roster of membership.

d.     The Assistant Secretary:

1.  He/she shall act in the absence of the secretary.

2.  Shall carry out other assignments that may be allocated him by the Secretary and or the President.

e.        The Financial Secretary

1.      Keeps regular and updated financial reports to the association.

2.      Provides bi-monthly financial report to the general assembly.

3.      Receives and maintains association financial records for proper annual audit.

4.       Prepares documents for payment from association funds that are duly authorized, tendered and approved by the general assembly.

5.     Chairs the standing committee for fundraising.

f.        The Treasurer

  1. Receives and deposit association funds into the appropriate account(s).
  2. Maintains accurate record of the association money.
  3. Disburses funds for association purpose that are duly authorized, tendered and approved by the general or the executive body
  4. He/she shall be a member of the fund raising committee.

g.      The Public Relations Officer.

1. Shall be  the primary spokesperson of the association as shall be approved by the general assembly.

2. Disseminates positive image of the association’s affairs to the public.

i.         The Provost

1.         Maintains order and decorum during meetings.

2.                  In conjunction with the president, recognizes speaker[s] to take the floor during deliberation at meetings.

3.         Shall carry out other functions as maybe assigned by the association.

ARTICLE 10: ELECTIONS

a.     Election of the Executive Council shall be conducted every two years in the month of March.

b.     Returning officers of not more than 3 respectable members of the association shall be constituted as an adhoc committee, shall oversee the election of executives on the Election Day.

c.     No member shall hold the same office for more than two consecutive terms.

d.     Elections of officers shall be by secret ballots.

e.     The chief Returning Officer shall announce the result of all votes cast.

f.        He shall declare the winners for all contested positions as per ballots counted.

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ARTICLE 11 REMOVAL FROM OFFICE

Any elected executive member, may be removed from office for any of the following reasons after which he/she might have been investigated by an appointed panel, and found guilty.

1, Incompetency or official misconduct or neglect of duty.

2, Any act that will tarnish the good name of the association.

ARTICLE 12: DISSOLUTION

    1. The NAGT shall only be dissolved on reason of bankruptcy, that is, the association’s inability to pay her debts.
    1. In the event of [1] above, a MERGER process shall be adopted, which means another similar nonprofit association within the city of Toledo, shall be considered for a merger.
    1. The services of either a CPA or an attorney shall be engaged for this service, in

consideration of the complicity of this process.

ARTICLE 11: AMENDMENT(S) TO THE CONSTITUTION

This constitution is subject to amendment according to the following procedure:

a.         Submission of motion, first, to the executive council by a full member

b.         Executive shall make recommendations to the Board of Directors

c.         Board of Directors in turn makes recommendation to the general body.

d.         Two third of members present shall approve or disapprove such recommendation(s)

e.         The final action on the amendment shall take immediate effect

f.          Subsequent motion on the same issue shall have a one-year waiting period

Original constitution was First Reviewed and Amended in June 2003 under a Committee comprising of the following:

Ms. Uche Ejiofor
Dr. Ngozi (Connie) Okoye-Nantwi
Mr. Emmanuel Oladokun
Mr. Apollos Njoku
Dr. Apollos O. Nwauwa

Second Amendment –the current version submitted on December 31, 2008 by a Review Committee consisting of the following:

Pastor Steve A . Haastrup
Dr. Nantwi Kwaku
Mr. Chineye Kanu
Ms. Boma Orlumkpo
Dr. Thomas Osinowo