Acceptance speech by Alhaji Shehu Kabir, President, Nigeria Chapter


Good morning Fellow Professionals colleagues and guests here present, allow me to recognize all of the protocols that have already been established.


I am sure that you would all agree, that it has been a wonderful year in the history of ASSP Nigeria chapter so far, as we mark the beginning of the new tunnel and by extension a continuation of the outgoing regime, with this our annual handover ceremony.

I am proud to be a member of American Society of Safety Professionals – Nigeria Chapter! I am most honored and humbled to be elected President of the ASSP-NC 2021/2022. I thank you my fellow ASSP members for selecting me to lead our noble Association saddled with safety of humanity and environment. As I stand here before you today, I am indeed honored to be given the opportunity to serve in this capacity, and you have my sincere assurance that I will be dedicated to the cause of ASSP-NC in this role, the same way I have demonstrated my commitment over the past few years.

How did I get here?

So… how did I get here? I can recall the genesis of this journey just like yesterday. I was born and raised by safety. My late father Alhaji Kabir Yusuf, may his gentle soul rest in Janna (paradise) Amin He was a grounded personify, he nurtured me in this area until I became what I am today. My mother also was an addict safety individual, she makes sure that her children are informed and practiced safety in our home and everywhere we find ourselves. This culture with time became a part of me and developed a mindset and thought it necessary to be part of a group or society that preach safety advocacy. Alhaji Sadiq A. Muhammad, Ambassador Nakpodia, Mr. Oyibo Felix these persons played a significant

role in my being a member of ASSP-NC today and give a special recognition.

As fate would have it one thing lead to another, I was elected as Nigeria Delegate in 2017 under the leadership of Mr. Stephen Udezi who was then President and I also got series of encouragement from Emeritus Herbert Nwaka who happened to be another classical, outstanding and excellent President during his tenure.

Let me use this opportunity to congratulate Immediate Past President Mercy Irefo and her Team for a very successful year. During her tenure, ASSP-NC did many things to show her support for me as her successor, and I am continually thankful to her, and cautioned her that I will be depending on her continued support throughout the year. The Strategic Plan that she wrote and implemented in her year is the first “formally written” Strategic Plan our ASSP-NC has had, and it will provide guidance for me and future ASSP-NC presidents in terms of setting and achieving our goals. I heard someone say that the best job to have in ASSP is “Immediate Past President”. I am sure today that must sound like music to the ears of IPP Mrs. Mercy Irefo, a job well done.

What does it mean to be a Member of American Society of Safety Professionals?

Our organization was founded more than 100 years ago, just months after one of the deadliest workplace disasters in U.S. history — the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, which killed 146 workers in a New York City garment factory in 1911.

In response to the tragedy, workplace safety legislation was introduced and our safety society was born — first in 1911 as the United Association of Casualty Inspectors, then renamed as the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) in 1914.

The organization continued as ASSE until 2018, when to reflect the continued evolution of the profession, American Society of Safety Engineers changed its name to the American Society of Safety Professionals.

This is the reason why you supposed to be a member of American Society of Safety Professionals.

While our name has changed, our mission remains steadfast: We continue to work hard to advance the profession and the individuals who choose it by supporting their efforts to prevent workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities. Our members serve on federal committees, support key safety, health and environmental legislation, participate in international safety and health efforts, and raise awareness of OSH with the public.

So… what is my view on what it means to be a member of ASSP?

In one of the Professional Development Conference held in Dallas, USA , the global President at the event spoke on a topic that has to do with safe less services, I found the content of his presentation to be extremely motivating and inspiring which this brought me back to that day when inducted me on the importance of safety. I decided that it was time for me to give back, and was pleased that the ASSP-NC was the entity through which I would deliver service to our community. One of the fundamental questions that every person should ask him/herself is: ‘What is the purpose of Humanity.

In my view, the major purpose of Humanity and the life of every human being, should basically be to make a positive contribution and impact to the continuance and wellbeing of humanity as a whole. I therefore do not think that it is good enough, for someone who is in a position to utilize and give his/her time, effort or resources to promote safety in our society, but rather does nothing. So, here is where we as ASSP differ and that’s why we are here… to make a difference.

The purpose of ASSP- NC’s Theme for the New ASSP-NC Year 2021/22

As we transition into a new ASSP-NC year it is always good time to remind ourselves of:

  • The purpose of this great service organization (which by the way is nicely summarized by last year’s theme, ASSP: Public Safety) and its four areas of Focus which are to:
  • Promote safety culture
  • Safety advocacy
  • Environmental safety
  • Workplace safety
  • etc

Our theme for the year 2021/22 shall be communicated to you very soon.

Plans for the year

We shall very soon publish our plans on our platform.

I will like to appreciate the endless encouragement of my mother, my brothers, my wife and children, my colleagues in the office and most importantly the KRPC and COMD Management and finally my Bosses for giving me the privilege to serve the ASSP-NC.

In conclusion, I pledge to serve the ASSP-NC at all times in a spirit of fidelity and commitment to the common good, always in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Association. I will uphold my campaign manifesto.

Closing Remarks

Fellow Professional members and Guests, I am keeping my promise that I will not be long, so in closing I would like to make mention of a famous quote by Winston Churchill who said “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”. Of course, today we exist in a society where much emphasis is placed on personal wealth accumulation. Let us make our environment safe.

Thank you
Alhaji Shehu Kabir