Secretaries End National Conference In UniPort

The University Secretarial Staff Association (USSA) has ended its 38th National Delegates’ Conference and Workshop in the University of Port Harcourt with a call to members to preserve the dignity of the profession and help achieve institutional goals to remain relevant in the scheme of things. 
Declaring open the two-day event which held from Thursday, 11 to Friday, 12August, 2016, representative of the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Matthew Wegwu, congratulated the Association for a successful outing, advising members to embrace modern office practice in a new information age if they wished to remain relevant in the university system. He also commended the national body for choosing the University as a venue for the august gathering. 

“Let me assure you that the issues you have raised such as hazard allowance, stagnation of Secretarial Assistants, responsibility allowance, and training opportunities would be promptly addressed if they fall within the statutory welfare packagesin the conditions of service in the Nigerian university system,” Professor Wegwuassured the Secretaries that came from tertiary institutions across the country. “Let me also keep you on notice that new information revolution in the office place has seriously modified the role of the Secretarial cadre. These days, most Executives type and process their own documents even mail them online, thus, reducing the important role of the Secretary who once held sway in documentation. The emergence of Personal Computers, Note Pads and Tablets, amongst other such amazing devices is increasingly converting your bosses into their own Secretaries. In is, therefore, very important that you device creative methods to remain relevant in the modern office setting where just about anybody can type, process and mail documents,” the Vice-Chancellor’s representative told the Secretaries.

In his address, National President of the Association, Mr. EzemeOgbonna, described the body as a socio-professional, non-tribal, non-political and non-religious organisationwith membership that cuts across public and private universities in Nigeria. “We have carved out a niche for ourselves by turning our quarterly NDC/NEC meetings into full-fledged conferences and workshop trainingsessions of international standard in pursuit of excellence in service delivery and relevance in the workplace,” he said.
Regretting thatapproved welfare packages accruable to Secretarial staff were yet to see the light of day in most universities across the country, the National President advocated  for regular training and retraining programmesof USSA members through workshops, seminars and conferences locally and internationally aimed at exposing them to current trends in the profession. “As versatile workers operating in a new age characterized by great innovations in Information Communication and Technology, issues of training should be sacrosanct to enable us remain relevant and efficient on our duty posts. There is need for a holistic and all-embracing approach to make training a continuous exercise in the system,” Ogbonna noted.
In his contribution, immediate past Chairman of the UniPort Branch of the Association, Mr. Donald Ileberi, commended the National Executive for giving the University of Port Harcourt the hosting right, described the gathering as timely as the Association was rooting for greater commitment and dedication to duty by its members to attain enhanced service delivery.

A major highpoint of the National Delegates Conference was the inauguration of a new Executive for the UniPort Branch of the Association headed by Mr. Sunday Aweka as Chairman and Mrs. Kate Wagbara as Vice-Chairman, while Mr. Christian Oti and Mrs. Gladys Amadi would serve as Secretary and Treasurer, respectively.

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