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CONSTITUTION OF THE NIGERIAN COMMUNITY GERMANY e.V.

As approved by the Community Council after Ammendments on 12.03.1994

PREAMBLE:

Members of the Nigerian Community Germany consider it appropriate to formulate a constitution and set of rules applicable to their organization. The word “ Nigerian “ in this constitution refers to all persons admitted as members of the organization according to Art.3, Para. 3.1 of the Constitution.

A: NAME; PURPOSE; MEMBERSHIP:

Art. 1 NAME

The organization goes under the name “ The Nigerian Community Germany “ with the addition “ e.V.” , after its orderly registration with the responsible authorities in Germany.

1.1 Seat
1.2 The Community is situated on the premises of the Nigerian Embassy in Germany.

Art. 2 PURPOSE AND AIMS

The purpose and aims of the Community are:

    1. to promote the patriotic spirit among Nigerians.
    2. to offer support, if necessary, to Nigerians living in Germany in the settlement of legal matters. c) to offer advice to Nigerians living in Germany in social matters.
    3. to organize social and cultural events in order to promote Nigeria ́s good reputation.
    4. to promote friendly relations among Nigerians, Germans and other non-German Communities f) to promote the political and economic well-being of Nigeria. 

Art. 3 MEMBERSHIP

Membership in the Community is applicable to individuals at the branch level.

3.1 Conditions for Admission:

Membership in the Community is open to all Nigerian nationals and all individuals of Nigerian origin as well as their respective family members under the condition that every applicant:

    1. is resident in Germany,
    2. accepts the purpose and aims of the Community,
    3. takes upon the obligations of membership,
    4. is proposed for admission as a member by two financially active members of the Community. 

3.2 Rights

Every member has the right:

    1. to participate in all meetings of his local branch and the General Assembly
    2. to vote and be eligible in every election held by the Community under the condition that he/she has fulfilled his/her financial obligations towards the Community,
    3. to introduce his/her own conceptions regarding matters concerning the Community or its members to all Community bodies.

3.3 Obligations

Every member is obliged:

a) to promote harmony among Nigerians,
b) to avoid and condemn any form of discrimination against fellow citizens due to sex, religion, status and ethnical or linguistic prejudice.
c) to meet his/her financial obligations towards the Community.

B. COMMUNITY BODIES:

Art. 4 BODIES

The Community bodies are:
The General Assembly
The Community Council
The Executive Committee
The Branches

4.1 The General Assembly:

shall comprise of all financial members of the NCG. The General Assembly is the supreme Community body and has the following rights and obligations:

4.1.1 Rights and Obligations
The General assembly is responsible for:

    1. the receipt and approval of reports;
    2. the specification and ratification of the constitution and rules of the Community as well as amendments of the above;
    3. the passing of resolutions on members`financial obligations;
    4. the election, among the members, in the other Community bodies or the dismissal from office; e) discipline. 

4.1.2 Assemblies:

The General Assembly shall meet once in the lifespan of the NCG (every two (2) years).
Emergency Assemblies are to be called as occasion demands. Notification of Assemblies is to be given by the Secretary-General and will contain the agenda as well as place and time of the assembly. 

4.1.3 Quorum

A quorum of a general assembly is formed when:

    1. no less than 2/3 of the Community Council members are present, including the Chairman, the Secretary-General and the Treasurer, and,
    2. the number of other members present is at least twice as high as the number of Community Council members present. 

4.2 Community Council

The Community Council is the control body of the Community and consists of:

    1. all members of the Executive Committee;
    2. each German State shall have one representative in the Community Council. Any State with more than 20 and up to 50 financial members shall have one extra representative. Any State with more than 50 and up to 100 members shall have two extra representation. Any State with more than 100 and up to 150 financial members shall have three extra representation.

4.2.1 Obligations and Tasks

The Community Council

    1. is responsible for the preparation of the Community rules;
    2. is responsible for the standing auditt of the Community’s financial matters
    3. debates and approves the annual budget of the Community as presented by the Executive Committee;
    4. informs the Executive Committee of all problems concerning Nigerians in their respective residence area. 

4.3 The Executive Committee
The Executive Committee is the executive body of the Community and :

    1. executes all resolutions passed by the general assembly and the Community CounCouncil;
    2. guarantees the safe-keeping of all financial funds and property assets of the Community and is liable for all financial transanctions of the Community;
    3. carries out the Community Assembly in line with the Community ́s constitution;
    4. endeavours to achieve out of court settlement in any disputes and controversies arising among Community members provided that such disputes and controversies have been brought to the Committee ́s attention. 

4.3.1 Members and Functions The committee consists of :

The Chairman;
The Deputy- Chairman,
The Secretary-General,
The Assistant-General Secretary,
The Financial Secretary,
The Secretary Public Relations and Social Matters,
The Secretary Nigerian / German Relations and
The Treasurer. 

4.3.1.1 The Chairman
The Chairman is the Community leader and

    1. conducts the Session of the general assemblies and the meetings of the Community Council and the Executive Committee;
    2. ensures that the meetings and the members`behaviour are in line with the Constitution;
    3. specifies, together with the Executive Committee, the financial plan for each year and presents the latter to the Community Council for debate and to the general assembly for approval; and
    4. presents a report on the Community ́s administration and activities at the end of each year. 

4.3.1.2 The Deputy Chairman

The Deputy Chairman:

    1. assumes the functions of the Chairman in the Chairman ́s absence or his/her inability to attend the meeting;
    2. assumes all tasks assigned to him/her by the Executive Committee or the Community Council. 

4.3.1.3 The Secretary General
The Secretary General conducts the Community ́s administration and

    1. is responsible for the daily operation of the Community ́s Secretariat and the co-ordination of the Community ́s activities;
    2. calls the meetings of the Community bodies;
    3. prepares the meetings and takes the Minutes thereof;
    4. procures report from Community Council members about problems concerning Nigerians
    5. in their respectve residence area and, in co-operation with the Chairman and other members of the Executive Committee, available, should the occasion arise, to offer advice or take action on behalf of the Community.
    6. The Secretary-General ( NCG-Secretariat ) The Secretariat is directly reponsible to the Chairman and is headed by the Secretary-General. Its main function will be to perform day to day adminstrative functions of the Executive Committee and also service to all committees appointed by the NCG. The Secretariat has no executive function whatsoever and shall report to the Chairman monthly. It shall prepare a report to the Executive Committee at each meeting.

4.3.1.4 The Financial Secretary
assumes the accounting tasks of the Community and

    1. keep books and accounts on the Community funds;
    2. attends to the collection of members`contributions, fees, donations and other sums payable to the Community and provides the payees with the appropriate receipts without delay;
    3. hands all sums, after they have been registered, over to the Treasurer after the conclusion of each meeting;
    4. presents an accounting report on the Community’s financial funds at the end of each fiscal year. 

4.3.1.5 Secretary Public Relations And Social Matters

    1. publishes all the Community activities;
    2. imparts and disseminates Nigeria’s image;
    3. maintains contact between the Community and the Nigerian Embassy in order to organise symposia and seminars, publish press releases on developments in Nigeria or matters concerning Nigerians in Germany;
    4. prepares and presents an annual report on his/her activities. 

4.3.1.6 Secretary Nigerian / German Relations

    1. is responsible for the co-operation between the Community and German Organisations essential for the Community activities, particularly the appropriate committee of the German Bundestag.
    2. assumes all other tasks assigned to him/her by the Executive Committee or the Community Council. 

4.3.1.7 The Treasurer

pays all sums payable to the Community into the Community’s bank account within 72 hours (3 days) from date of receipt;

presents an accounting report on the financial funds of the Community at the end of each fiscal year.

4.3.1.8 The Branches

Branches shall be formed at city level but representation in the NCG Community Council shall be along state lines. Where there are not enough Nigerians in a city to constitute a branch, efforts should be made to involve surrounding communities.

    1. Minimum number of branches: The minimum number of Nigerians to constitute a branch shall be determined by the German laws governing the formation of such association in the said locality.
    2. Number of branches in a city: No two branches can exist or be formed in the same city.
    3. Name: The name of the branches shall read Nigerian Community Germany e.V.; (e.g. Nigerian Community Germany e.V. Göttingen-Branch) and all existing and already established branches shall effect a change of name (e.g. Association of Nigerian Citizens in Hamburg becomes Nigerian Community Germany e.V. Hamburg-Branch).
    4. Constitution: The Constitution of the Nigerian Community Germany is supreme. However, branches can modify the bye-laws to suit their peculiar interests. Where a dispute arises, the constitution of the NCG shall override.
    5. Registration Fee: The present Registration fee of DM 50,00 per member shall be retained. f) Annual Membership Dues: Annual membership dues shall be DM 60,00 per member.
    6. Percentage Ratio – Registration Fee And Annual Dues: A percentage ratio of 70:30 shall be binding, with the branch retaining 70% of registration and annual membership dues and 30% of both remitted to the Central body not later than the last week of each quarter.
    7. Financial returns: Each branch shall submit its its audited account and members list to the Central body for scrutiny by March 31st of every year.
    8. Sharing of Donations: the Central body shall retain 70% of all donations made to the NCG while the remaining 30% shall be shared among the branches.

4.3.2 MEETINGS:

Meetings of the Executive Committee are to be held at least four (4) times a year. Emergency meetings are to be called when required by the Chairman or two other members of the Executive Committee. Notification of meetings is to be given in writing by the Secretary-General and contains the agenda as well as place and time of the meeting. 

4.3.3 Quorum

A quorum of the Executive Committee is formed when no less than half the number of its members are present, including the Chairman and the Secretary-General.

4.3.4 Representation

Two members of the Executive Committee can represent the Community and take action on behalf of the Community provided that:

    1. at least one of them is the Chairman or the Secretary-General;
    2. such action is in line with the Community Constitution;
    3. the Executive Committee is informed of such action. The Executive Committee can, in addition, authorize individual members or groups of committee members to carry out, when required, certain tasks on behalf of the Community.

4.4.1 Elections:
Any financial member has the right to vote or be voted for. Procedure

    1. Elections for Community offices are held every two (2) years.
    2. A returning officer is elected by the general assembly with a two-.third majority but holds no office.
    3. The elections are held by ballot.
    4. The outcome of an election is to be announced immediately.
    5. A candidate is considered elected when he/she receives at least 50% of the votes. Should more than two members candidate for one office, and no one receives at least 50% of the votes, a second poll between the two candidates who received the most votes in the first poll will be decisive.

4.4.2 Term of Office:

Term of Office

    1. Community office-holders assume their respective office for a period of two (2) successive years.
    2. Should an office become vacant during this period, a by-election is to beheld at the next general assembly in order to occupy the vacancy.
    3. An office-holder can only be re-elected for one further term of office of two (2) successive years. 
C: FINANCES:

Art. 5: THE FINANCES OF THE COMMUNITY

5.1 Financial Sources
The financial sources of the community consist of:

    1. admission fees
    2. annual contributions
    3. donations, fees
    4. proceeds from social and cultural
    5. others

5.2 Administration of Finances

    1. The Community maintains a bank account in Bonn.
    2. Payment of money sums to the Community occours in line with the tasks of the Treasurer stipulated in Section B, Art ( 4), 4.3.1.7 of the Constitution.
    3. The community bank account is maintained with the three(3) signatures, i.e. the signature of the Chairman, the Secretary-General and the Treasurer.
    4. For every sum withdrawn from the account, two(2) of the above mentioned signatures are required, one of which must be the signature of the Treasurer. 

5.3 Annual Budget

a) The annual budget is drawn up and presented in advance as stipulated in Section B, Art.4, 4.3.1.1.c of the Constitution.

b) The fiscal year is the calendar year. 

5.4 Audit

    1. The Community Council appoints a Standing -Auditor for the Community finances as stipulated in Section B, Art.4, Par.4.2.1 B) of the Constitution.
    2. On a general assembly resolution, an annual audit is carried out by an independent external Auditor who presents his report to the general assembly. 
D: GENERAL

Art. 6: DISCIPLINE

6.1 Members
Any Community member that

    1. behaves in a way that violates the behaviour rules of the Community or
    2. behaves in a way that is detrimental to the reputation of the Community or
    3. does not meet his/her financial obligations towards the Community will be discipline according to the disciplinary measures of the Community rules.

6.2 Office Holders:
Any elected office holder in the Community who

    1. takes advantage of his office in order to promote personal interests or
    2. neglects his/her duties will be disciplined according to the disciplinary measures of theCommunity rules. 

Art. 7 DISSOLUTION

  1. The dissolution of the Community will occur, when the Community does not fulfil its purpose and aims.
  2. A dissolution is valid when a two-third majority of the Community members votes for it.
  3. In the case of a dissolution, the Community’s Assets and Liabilities are to be liquidated according to German law and the proceed put at a Charity Organisation’s disposal after a two(2)- year period.

ART. 8 AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION

  1. The Community Constitution can be amended as occasion demands.
  2. A motion to amend the Constitution must be entered as the general assembly by three(3)financially active Community members.
  3. A 50% majority of the members is required in order to amend the Constitution.
  4. An amendment committee is set up.
  5. The committee is instructed to review the Constitution in the light of changes in the conditions of Nigerians in Germany.
  6. The amended Constitution requires, in order to be approved, a two-third majority of the general assembly.
SHOULD PARTS OF THIS CONSTITUTION BECOME MEANINGLESS DUE TO ALTERATIONS IN THE GERMAN ASSOCIATION LAW, THE CONSTITUTION SHALL NOT BE AFFECTED AND THE SPIRIT THEREOF AS A WHOLE REMAINS VALID.

Vereinsregisternummer: 6436 BONN