The constitution of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS) encourages creation of Local Chapters through which various activities (Membership drives, collection of dues and levies, etc) are organized. In fact, NMGS exists, and is most easily identified through its Local Chapters. The Bye laws of all the Chapters recognize the supremacy of the NMGS Constitution. The first Local Chapter was inaugurated in Jos in 1978. Others followed much later, and there are now NMGS Chapters in Ibadan, Port Harcourt, Nsukka, Benin, Lagos, Kaduna, Calabar, Warri Kano, Ajaokuta/Itakpa, Bauchi, and Maiduguri.
The Jos Chapter of NMGS came into existence in 1978 with Dr. M.E. Offodile (FNMGS) and Dr. U. M. Turaki as President and General Secretary respectively; Council welcomed the creation of the chapter and donated a token sum of N100.00 towards its take-off. This gesture was very much appreciated and Dr. Offodile fervently, through council, encouraged creation of similar chapters around the country.
The efforts of the chapter brought NMGS into sharper public focus in Jos and its environs. Although Jos is an established mining community, it was surprising that the Society was not that well known, even among practicing mining engineers and earth scientists, The situation remarkably changed over the years due to efforts of various Jos Chapter activities which included vigorous membership drives, public lectures on various aspects of the professions, radio and television interviews, etc. The 1979 Annual General Meeting of the Society in Jos assisted in further publishing NMGS in the area.
The chapter consolidated itself in subsequent years, thus drawing attention of Council. In 1980, council stipulated, as enunciated in the MNGS Constitution, that working principles and Bye Laws of Local Chapter should be within the Society’s framework.
The first Newsletter by a Local Chapter was started by Jos Chapter in 1983and was highly commended by Council. It was also noted that, in addition to its other activities, the Chapter was organizing functions (lectures, film shows, etc) to coincide with dates of Council meetings whenever such were held in Jos.
These may have formed the basis for the 1983 Mobil suggestion that Local Chapter elsewhere be encouraged to organize regular bimonthly or quarterly technical meetings or show scientific films of interest geoscientists
Another notable achieved of the Jos Chapter included the promulgation of the first NMGS Local Chapter By-Laws in 1988. The event was marked by Mr. Awoniyi’s lecture on “Privatisation and Commercialisation in the Mining Industry”. These By-Laws are quite comprehensive, complete with guidelines for the operation of a Local Benevolent Fund. The need for such a fund was brought home by the sudden death of Dr. M. T. Hossain, and active and foundation Chapter member. The Local Chapter also had a committee on Natural Hazards long before the National Committee, or that subsequently set up by the Society.
A permanent feature of Jos Chapter since its creation is the annual end-of-year activity held late every December. This usually involves the delivery of a lecture over dinner with members’ families and dignitaries in attendance. The regularly and quality of the event soon attracted the attention of Council and Institutional members. In particular, Mobil and Elf funded the 1988 occasion with donations of N3,000 and N1,000 respectively. Mobil was even represented by Mr. Sawyer, its Exploration Manager and the Society’s DLP Chairman, who attended with his family. Dr. K. M. Onuoha, the Society’s Editor-in-Chief, was the Guest Lecture; His lecture was on “Geophysical Techniques for Monitoring the Spread and Dispersal of Contaminants (Toxic Materials in the subsurface)”. The lecture was on very relevant in view of the Koko Toxic Waste experience then very current in the country. The 1989 activity was also marked with a lecture on “Mining Laws and how to minimize Illegal Mining” delivered by Alhaji M. Kalumbu, a private miner.
The successful and enviable leading role of Jos Chapter is as a result of the dedication of its officers and, more importantly, the members . Besides Dr. Offodile, the other Jos Chapter presidents have included Dr. A. E. Ogezi, Dr. U. M. Turaki, and Dr. O. Ogunbanjo. The current president is Dr. Aderonpe, Director of the National Metallurgical Development Centre in Jos.
PORT HARCOURT CHAPTER
The Port Harcourt Chapter is one that before now, had left a record of a seeming lack of continuity. After hosting the 1964 conference, the Port Harcourt Chapter lapsed into dormancy for 21 years.
It woke up in 1985 after it had received a mandate to host the 1986 conference. With C. O. Oyibo, FNMGS (current NMGS President) as chairman of the new reconstituted chapter, and Uka Nwangwu as LOC Chairman, there was never a doubt that the Chapter had finally survived, especially since the 1986 conference was very successful both in the general proceedings and, also particularly, in the fund raising which set a new pace for the later 1980s. Unfortunately, not only did both Chairmen (chapter and LOC) leave Port Harcourt on transfers soon after, many other members were also similarly affected. The chapter, once again, went back to sleep.
Council sent a delegation in 1988 to investigate the circumstance leading to the inactivity of the Chapter. This led to the formation of a steering committee which in the same year, succeeded in redirecting the chapter towards new goals.
By February of 1989, the Chapter was up again under a 5-member caretaker committee and was fully reactivated on March 1, 1989 with Professor E. A. Fayose, FNMGS, and a past President, as guest lecturer on the subject “The New Geologist”. Sponsored largely by Nigerian Agip Oil Company, the lecture turned out to be of DLP standard, with more than 100 participants.
At a meeting held on April 10, 1989, Mrs. Cheye Kambi-Selema was elected Chairman of the Chapter. During the chapter’s general meetig of July 1989, the By-Laws for the Chapter were accepted. This was followed by a lecture titled “Reservoir delineation from vertical seismic profiles. The lecture was sponsored by Schlumberger Nigeria Limited.
The 110th meeting of Council was held in Port Harcourt on August 19, 1989. At the time of the visit by Council, 3 members of the Chapter were serving as Commissioners in the Rivers State Cabinet. Also during NMGS President (Mr. Oyigbo) to be featured on a personality programme on Radio Rivers “Spotlight” as well as the NTA “VOX POP” news. The President’s radio engagement also appeared on the “Tide’s” energy page. With unexpected ease, the NMGS Executive Council and representatives of the Port Harcourt, chapter had audience with the Governor of Rivers State. The Chapter, since then, has continued to be active, thriving under the sponsorship of several organizations operating within the state.
Mobil sponsored a Chapter DLP on “Evaporite nature of growth of salt diapirs and their significance”. The lecture was delivered on 21st Nigeria Limited, sponsored a lecture on “Computer application in the optimization of geologic evaluation and drilling control”.
The first issue of the Chapter’s Newsletter was produced late in 1989. This is the second newsletter by an NMGS Chapter; the first was produced by the Jos Chapter much earlier.
The Ibadan Chapter was inaugurated in 1986 with Dr. Agagu as Chairman, and Ms. Tosin Macaulay as Secretary. This was at a time when such towns as Warri, Calabar, Lagos and Port Harcourt- towns which, though they had successfully hosted annual conferences, quickly reverted to a state of dormancy. By the following year, the Chapter had already carried out a major responsibility. It produced the draft document on the teaching of geology in Secondary Schools.
In June 1989, the Chapter’s meeting featured the presentation of a paper on talc investigation in the Ilesha area. The crowning achievement was a Tar Sands Workshop organized at Ago Iwoye in Ma 1990. This deposits in Nigeria. The theme of the workshop to address the management of tar sand deposits in Nigeria. The theme of the workshop was “Occurrence, utilization, and economics of tar sands in Nigeria.
At the beginning of the Lagos conference in march 1988, the Kano chapter was less than one week old. It had launched a fund-raising campaign N6,000 was later donated to Council of NMGS. The chapter was represented for the first time in Council on January 21, 1989. With 20 registered members from the Kano area, the Chapter plans to also incorporate members from Sokoto and other neighboring towns. The chapter holds monthly meetings and has also produced its own by laws.
The first ever meeting of Council of the NMGS to be held in the ancient city if Kano took place on August 18, 1990 within the premises of the Federal Secretariat. The Kano Chapter laid on facilities and arrangements that simulated an annual conference.
There was a large banner, printed folders and news coverage. The president held press conference with representatives of Kano Broadcasting Corporation. Council was delighted to hear that the Military Governor of Kano State had given the Chapter a donation of N20,000.00. There is no doubt that the Kano Chapter will go a long and successful way.
Although several annual conferences had been held in Kaduna in the past, it was only in January, 1989 that the Kaduna Chapter was formally inaugurated. Messrs A. D. Famuboni and P.O. Oluyide were the prime leaders of this movement. When soon after, in 1990, the Chapter organizing the 26th annual conference, the organizational success of the proceedings left no one in doubt that the chapter has, indeed come to stay.
A Benin chapter was launched soon after Port Harcourt conference in 1986. The primary objective was to set the stage for the 1987 annual conference which took place in Benin City.
The Chapter had a set-back in 1988 when its Secretary travelled overseas for a protracted visit. In an attempt to reactivate this chapter lecture by Prof. O.S. Adegoke on “The geologist and small-scale industries” was held in 1990 in which members of the nearby Warri Chapter participated.
The Enugu Chapter is based mainly at the Nsukka campus of the university of Nigeria. Its fortunate’s have fluctuated over the years, in spite of the historical link between NMGS and Nsukka. In 1989, Council urged members resident at Nsukka and Enugu to take steps to reactivate the chapter so as to make optimum use of such institutional organizations as the University Campuses at Enugu and Nsukka, PRODA, Coal Corporation, Geological Survey Department, IMT and ASUTECH. That reactivation process started on August 8, 1990 with the appointment of a protem Chair man and Secretary. The chapter will comprise of members in Enugu, Abakaliki, Nsukka, Onitsha and Akwa.
The small Calabar chapter is run mainly by staff of the geology department of Unical. Recently, the chapter, after several years of inaction, took off once again under the chairmanship of E.E. Ukpong. In 1989, Dr. Ekwere, Dr. Esu and Mr. Ukpong, all members of the Chapter, were appointed into the Akwa Ibom State Limestone Deposit Task Force. Moves are on to increase the institutional membership of the Chapter at the State level.
ITAKPE – AJAOKUTA – LOKOJA CHAPTER
Itakpe may form the nucleus of activities of this Chapter which took off in late 1988 under the chairmanship of Engr. P. U. Umunnakwe. The by-laws were produced in 1990.
BAUCHI – GOMBE CHAPTER
The first informal meeting of this chapter took place in January 1990 with 26 prospective members. The inaugural meeting was held on March 1, 1990.
The Warri Chapter was inaugurated in 1989 with 9 members. This was considered to be a remarkable achievement since most prospective members from Warri have strong NAPE and SPE leanings. However, following the very successfully DLP lectures in 1989, many applications for membership were received and several activities were soon slated for 1990. The Chapter has also arranged to hold its meetings in conjunction with the Benin Chapter as a measure of resuscitating the interest and involvement of members in the Benin area. The Petroleum Training Institute, Effurum, as institutional member, has pledged to print all future posters for NMGS conferences at no cost. Mr. Egwu Nwanokwale has been, for many year, the zonal representative for Warri Chapter.
Lagos, traditionally the seat of the society’s fund raising and other major activities, has surprisingly functioned without a formal organization for many years. This is in spite of the large concentration of members within the oil industry in particular, and other earth-science related organizations as well. Additionally, the activities of NAPE, solely concentrated in Lagos, as well as SPE, which also draw their membership from NMGS, appear to have de-emphasized the need for a local NMGS Chapter. This, notwithstanding, Council has recently mandated the Director, Geological Survey Department to initiate moves that would lead to the formation of a Lagos Chapter.
About forty members of the Society in the Maiduguri area held an inaugural meeting on August 2, 1990. The Maiduguri Chapter is thus the youngest to date of the Local Chapters of the Society.