Halfway-Through: A Review of The Office of the Financial Secretary.

 There is no leadership without accountability. This, we all know. As the tenure rolls into its final half, it is pertinent that we look back on what has been achieved so far, and remind ourselves what to look forward to. 

Mr Abraham Ajisafe is no new player on UIMSA’s political field, having undergone a tenure as both Senator and Congressman. Having maneuvered the terrain of the electoral process, he was sworn intoffice as UIMSA’s financial secretary for the 2022/2023 tenure.

Unlike some other executives, the financial secretary has been more reticent; perhaps owing to the nature of his office. In an attempt to review his performance so far, the UIMSA Press reached out to him for an interview on the state of affairs of the office. 

Constitutional duties

Needless to say, the fundamental obligation of any executive is to carry out their assigned constitutional duties. Article IX of the UIMSA constitution spells out the duties of the Financial secretary thus;

i. Shall be responsible for all business ventures of the Association: The UIMSA ventures comprise variousbusiness outfits which generate income for the Association. This includes the secretariat, which iscurrently functional. The clinical starter pack—through which clinical materials were procured for the 2k23 class—wad also distributed. Mr Ajisafementioned that plans were underway to procure the packs for the 2k24 class who would be crossing over to the clinical side soon. 

ii. Shall be the chairperson of the Finance Committee of the association: The finance committee was constituted and is headed by him. A training on proposal writing was organised for members of the committee, and books on finance are periodically sent to educate the members.

iii. Shall present an account of the finances of the Association to the Senate for each fiscal quarter within a tenure: The financial secretary has presented a financial account at the end of each quarter of the tenure. Most recently, the account for the third quarter was presented at the Senate meeting on Wednesday. 

iv. Shall be the chairperson of the Fundraising Committee of the Health Week: Mr Ajisafe noted that fundraising for the Health week had begun. He also stated that donor cards will be out soon to facilitate fundraising by members of the planning committees of the Health week activities.

Manifesto points

Aside his constitutionally assigned duties, Mr Ajisafe’s manifesto is shockingly simple, with mainly two action points:

 1. Increase the income of the association: This he promised to do through dues, UIMSA ventures, donations from alumni and sponsorships from corporate companies.Mr Ajisafe projected to increase UIMSA dues payment by at least 25% . He however admitted that there had not been much difference in dues payment between the previous and present tenure. He attributed this to the fact that the consequences of not paying dues were not stringent enough. Apart from the UIMSA clinical starter pack, Mr Ajisafe claimed to have laid the foundation for a new UIMSA venture involving procuring textbooks directly from importers and reselling to retailers at competitive prices to earn money for the association. At the time of this interview, no deals had been finalized yet.Production of UIMSA merchandise for the tenure is underway. The leftover merchandise from last tenure was also sold. Despite being more than halfway through the tenure, Mr Ajisafe’s promise to of raise money from the  alumni through the alumni newsletter has not taken foot yet. He reiterated that the first newsletter had not been sent yet because it had to go through the publications committee and general secretary to ensure it was of the standard expected of UIMSA. He however said that donations had been secured for the IMSG quiz competition. Some funds were also received for the Residency in the US event. On securing sponsorships from corporate companies, Mr Ajisafe noted that letters had been written to some companies in Ibadan. A trial premium LinkedIn account for UIMSA was currently in use to facilitate this. However, at the time of this interview, no sponsorships have been secured yet.

2. Scholarship/grants workshop: Inarguably, the highlight of Mr Ajisafe’s manifesto was the scholarship or grants workshop. At the time of this interview, Mr Ajisafe remarked that a grantsworkshop had been scheduled to hold before now—and a partnership had been negotiated with MoneyAfrica—but had to be delayed owing to logistics. He however stated that it would hold next month.

In his closing remarks, Mr Ajisafe reiterated the importance of UIMSAites paying their dues as it serves as the Association’s lifeline and ensures that UIMSA continues to give the best. So far, it is safe to say that the financial secretary is carrying out his constitutional duties. But with just a few months to the end of the tenure, will Mr Ajisafe completely fulfill  his manifesto to UIMSAites? That remains to be seen.  

Aisha Ibrahim

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