Welcome

Nigeria International Association of Pennsylvania, Inc was a child of necessity borne out
of collective desire to forge a closeness or network of friends and acquaintances made up
of people of Nigerian heritage and their spouses. About four years ago, a group of
Nigerians found themselves in the Lehigh valley, and there developed friendships that
metamorphosed into a formal organization that steered toward catering to the group
needs.

At the initial stage, the formative members met regularly in the house of each member to
fellowship with one another. As time went by, the number of families represented started
to grow. The increase in interested families led to the thought of forming an organization
that will project our collective desires; the urge to formalizes the gathering became
imperative, and it was effectively realized by the sheer will of the initiators.
In the year 2003, we took the initial step toward formation of this organization. Once we
have determined the name of the organization, the members unanimously resolved to
give it a legal backing by registering it with the appropriate governmental body in our
state of domicile. Therefore, as a result of this resolution, the organization filed its papers
of incorporation with the Pennsylvania department of State in November 2003. The
association received its filing approval in December 2003 and it was effectively
registered as Non-profit Cooperative Corporation.

At the inception of the organization, it was obvious that the organization would need a
system of governance with specific people charged with certain responsibilities; as we
were making efforts to figure this out, we simultaneously embarked on writing a befitting
constitution to govern the affairs of our organization. At this stage, the organization
resolved to set up a temporary administration to administer its activities. Moreover,
before too long, the interim administration emerged under the leadership of Dr.Olutoye
Akinjiola. From the inception of the interim executive council, the organization has
continued to make strides towards making the organization relevant to our cause, and
steadily moving towards recognition within the community we are domiciled.
The membership and the executive council made a decision to stage an annual event in
commemoration of our national independence day every October. Due to the fact that the
organization was at its formative stage, coupled with functioning structures in place, the
challenges the planned event posed was daunting. Despite the fact that time was not on
our side, the sheer determination of our members to stage a befitting national day was the
impetus needed to galvanize us to successful staging of our first independence day.
The issue of funding was resolved through personal contributions from members and
levies the organization imposed on all members. The benevolence of Mr. and Mrs.

Dwayne and Ngozi Bell who made available their home for the first ever event is worthy
of commendation. It is on record that, the occasion was very successful.
Typical to any organization just evolving without a precedent, we have made mistakes;
we have walked while we supposed to run and we have run while we supposed to walk.
Above all, we have been able to learn from our missteps, and equally learnt from our
inactions of the past. All these experiences have really positioned us to take a proper cue
in planning for the present and the future needs of our organization. We have taken
cognizant of the fact that, together we present a formidable front which we can leverage
for socio-economic and political competitive advantages. To this end, the organization
has taken a far-reaching initiative to actualize programs that will usher it to its eldorado.
Moreover, it is interesting to note that from humble beginning of four to six families that
formed the nucleus of its members, the culture of weekend gathering for fellowships has
turned into an organization that has continued to grow in strength and relevance. It is a
pleasure to note that it has become an organization of choice to Nigerians in Diaspora
that are domicile within our geographic locale. Our organization growth is an ample
testament to what is lacking back in Nigeria. We all made conscious decisions to be our
brothers’ keepers, bounded by love, openness, sense of nationalism and other virtues that
forms the glue that bind us together. We have displayed these virtues from the inception
of this organization and by the grace of God we shall strive to sustain it. The fact that this
organization has grown consistently since its formation, bear testimony to the dynamisms
of its members, and their dedication is unparalleled.
From having our first ever event in a garage provided by a benevolent member in 2003
for the celebration of our national independence day, improved in the following year
when we had it in a rented public hall, and finally to the last one that was held in a more
spacious hall in 2005 represents a tremendous improvements in our ability to execute our
programs.

The beginning of year 2006 saw the organization moving in the right directions. It finally
had it first election where various offices were filled. The election produced the first
elected executive council under the able leadership of Messers Dr. Olu Akinjiola and
Dwayne Uche Bell as president and vice president respectively. Other equally dedicated
members ably support them in the executive council. The emergence of real leadership
quickly translates into serious look at the founding principles of the organization. The
urge to be continuously relevant spurred the strategic initiatives that consisted of real
programs that will add values to membership and overall community recognition.
As the year progresses, so also are our strategic initiatives. The executive council came
up with actionable strategic thrusts for implementation this year and the membership
already bought into the plan. The intricacies of moving forward are currently being
worked out. The organization is also pursuing501©3 certification.
Looking back to 2002 when the idea for this organization was non-existent, it is
important to acknowledge the contributions of some key members most especially Chief

Mrs. Grace Iyabo Inyang, the author of this concept and other dedicated members such as
Dr. Olu and Alma Akijiola, Mrs. Stella Ajala, Dwayne and Ngozi Bell, Soji and Stella
Dairo, Mr. Bola Akinleye, Solace Okpe and Prince Adewale and Meloney Dosunmu.
It has been a marvelous experience for many of us that found ourselves here in a foreign
land; recreating our community by reaching deep into our souls to bring out the best
within us to create this unique association that has made many of us wonder aloud; how
are we able to do this?

The truism that necessity is the mother of invention cannot be further from the truth. The
loneliness associated with living in a foreign land is the impetus that made us reach down
to our humanness to bring out the best in us in a group setting. I challenge us to eschew
those things that divide rather than unite us.

Long live federal Republic of Nigeria; long live the United States of America and long
live Nigeria International Association of Pennsylvania, Inc