OGWASHI-UKU ASSOCIATION USA INC
Teleconference August 29, 2010 Minutes
The meeting was called to order by the President Mr. Reginald Ofuani at approximately 6:11 pm Pacific, 9:11 p.m. Eastern standard times and Mr. Emmanuel Obi said the opening prayers.
The following GC members were in attendance:
1. Sunday Ofili – NYC
2. Mark Awanyai , So. CAL
3. Reginald Ofuani – President
4. Denis Okolo , Fin. Sec
5. Emmanuel Obi – VP
6. Josephine Toks – Provost
7. Ferdinand Uwaechue , No.CA
8. Elias Uwandi , Ex – President
9. Mary Okafor – HOU
10. Chris Nwadiwe – Gen. Sec.
11. Andy Ogbue , Ex. President
12. Victor Nwaokolo – Dallas
13. Victor Ozieh , So. East
14. Nicholas Umegboh – No.CA
The President informed members that the Secretary will skip agenda item #2 Reading of the minutes because he had to terminate the June 27, 2010 teleconference meeting proceedings following the heated arguments that ensured from the March meeting’s matters arising that became uncontrollable. Instead, he pointed out that he has included the agenda items that created the controversy in today’s business. He also announced that it has become necessary to ensure that only those identified in the constitution as members of the Governing Council (GC) will be allowed to participate in the GC teleconferences. Members of the National Executive Committee (NEC), Presidents of each chapter or their designee and qualified past presidents. Therefore he stated that members should channel their GC meeting issues through their president for discussion in the GC teleconference. Mr. Ofuani announced that Mr. Uwaechie of Northern California will be handing over to a new President who will be representing his chapter in future GC meetings.
Offshore Bank Account
Mr. Ofuani made a brief comment on the status of the N100,000 and N50,000 checks in response to the pending inquiries from the last teleconference. He reported that two checks that are now stale, has been forwarded to the Treasurer, Mr. Augustine Nwajei to keep. The checks as he explained were held pending the opening of an account where a Naira check can be deposit, at the time an effort to open an account at the New York City United Bank for Africa (UBA) did not materialize. He said he is continuing that effort and hope to be successful this time. Mr. Sunday Ofili, the President of NYC chapter also questioned the withholding of the checks, Mr. Chris Nwadiwe in response read part of an e-mail regarding the N50,000 check and $200 in cash. Mr. Ijeh wrote the e-mail to Mr. Ofili the financial secretary at the time, informing him that the donation check was forwarded to Dr. Ozieh. The point was that Mr. Ofili should have updated the association’s record with the information provided to him after the Atlanta summit and his positions required him to follow-up and ensure the funds were deposited.
Moving forward, Dr. Victor explained the reason for withholding the Naira checks. He clarified that at some point the N50,000 check was sent to him but he did not remember when he accounted for only the N100,000 at the June 27, 2010 meeting. He indicated that when he later looked in the envelope containing the check, he noticed the N50,000 check was there too. Dr. Ozieh apologized and indicated that he is hopeful about getting the N100,000 check from Chief Okafor re-issued and that attempt will also be made to get the other check by Dr, Enwemnwa re-issued. Soon as the new account is opened all Naira funds will be deposited there. Ms. Mary Okafor of Houston asked if this issue should be considered resolved with the implementation of both Mr. Ofuani and Dr. Ozieh’s actions and members unanimously agreed to declare the matter resolved.
Houston Chapter Grievances Revisited
This item was a carryover from the July 2010 teleconference meeting agenda. The President Mr. Ofuani briefly cited the complaint and referenced the letter from the Houston chapter that he previously e-mailed to each GC member for review. The Houston chapter issues included what they captioned the lack of responsiveness, transparency and accountability by the previous administration. The concern they have is that the issues were raised when the current administration took over but the response remained unsatisfactory to them. As a result they threatened to pull out of the national body unless their issue is resolved. Mr. Ofuani indicated that he provide all the documents that Houston requested and had several e-mail and telephone discussions with the chapter president on the issue, he also said the matter was discussed in one of the GC meetings therefore, he said he could not understand what else will satisfy the chapter. Mr. Elias Uwandi, who headed the prior administration in their defense, also stated that during his term he provided documents to the Houston chapter on this matter. He suggested a different strategy that will require the President to visit Houston and sit down to further discuss and resolve this matter with the members..
Ms. Okafor the President and representative for the Houston pointed out that in the President’s response letter he sounded as if the complaints were her personal matters. She continued by stating that it was a chapter complaint signed by herself and the general Secretary and should be treated as such. She also indicated that the Houston chapter was not demanding for the local chapter’s (southeast) convention report, that their request was for the traditional convention report that the National Body published after each event that detailed the expenses and the revenue including dues collected at the convention. Mr. Chris Nwadiwe in response, informed members that such report was distributed but not titled convention report. He referred members to the minutes of the 3/28/2010 meeting that included the report and the budget. Mr. Nwadiwe apologized to Ms. Okafor for the misunderstanding indicating that it was probably an error to present a consolidated financial statement without a special annotation or footnote that identified the items that were convention specific.
Mr. Ofuani spoke on the state and status of the Ogwashi-uku USA INC website. He reported that Dr. Ozieh recently discovered that our website has been disabled by the hosting company. However, Dr. Ozieh was able to make contact with the company and paid the sum of $75 to cover hosting our site for the next 5 years. He noted that the $3000 in the budget was for the re-engineering of the sites. Based on the estimate received for the job there will be no fund for the reimbursement the $75 hosting fee paid. The request was unanimously approved.
During the discussion of the website Mr. Victor Nwaokolo, President of the Dallas Metro chapter asked about the promise Dr. Ozieh made during the business session in Atlanta, to service the site for the association. According to Dr. Ozieh, later findings suggested the current website architectures is outdated and too complicated to repair that he recommended spending the funds allocated for the re-engineering project on constructing a new manageable and user friendly site.
Dr. Victor Ozieh went on to report on the website contract and the details of what the association should expect to get for the $3,000 project. Dr. Ozieh answered questions from members that clarified the sites expected functionalities, flexibility and maintenance after launch. For example, the ability to provide blackboards for each chapter to access and update the site with their activities information; there will be no dedicated webmaster which will be a savings for the traditional webmaster monthly fee, however the association must assign responsibility to a few members to over see the running of the site and review materials for quality assurance. Members will be able to register and obtain personal passwords for log-on to members
only type information; There will be provision for on-line payment by subscribing to a service like the PayPal etc. An approval to proceed with the project was also unopposed.
Northern California – Mr. Ferdinand Uwaechie informed members that an elect was held and he handed over to a new President. He indicated that he will be logging off shortly and would like to leave a piece of advice with sitting GC members. He called for accountability and transparency in governing the association with emphasis on the need for outgoing national officers to conduct a proper handover at the end of each term of office. Mr. Uweachie point was noted and the new President Mr. Nicholas Umegboh logged-in shortly after his departure. He was recognized but he deferred additional report on the chapter to the next meeting.
Dallas Metro , Reported that
Southern California –
South East –
New York –
Mr. Augustine Odume moved to adjourn the meeting; it was seconded by Mr. Palata Oduma and the meeting was adjourned at approximately 7:06 pm Pacific Standard time.
Chris D. Nwadiwe Reginald Ofuani
General Secretary President