details of the CIPMN Act - the new law on project management in Nigeria

On January 24, 2018, the Chartered Institute of Project Managers of Nigeria (Establishment) Act 2017 was signed into law. This event opens up a new chapter in the development of the project management profession in Nigeria. Most importantly, this new law establishes a professional regulatory body called The Chartered Institute of Project Managers of Nigeria (CIPMN); established to regulate the standards, training, discipline and practice of project management as a profession in Nigeria.

The main jurisdiction of this body is the licensing of project managers practicing in Nigeria and the control of the profession of project management in Nigeria. Since the establishment of this law, many industry stakeholders have desired insight into its details and the implications of this Act.
This article comprehensively answers the most pressing questions and provides details of the provisions of this new law.

Provisions of the CIPMN (Establishment) Act 2017

1. Who does this Act affect?

The new project management law directly affects all the following groups:

1. Institutions involved in training project managers in Nigeria including higher institutions and training centers

2. Employers of project managers in the private and public sectors of Nigeria

3. Project management companies in Nigeria

4. Freelance project management professionals practicing in Nigeria

5. Project management bodies, institutions and associations issuing qualifications to practice project management in Nigeria. Some of these institutions include: Project Management Institute (PMI), Chartered Institute of Project Management (CIPM), Chartered Institute of Contract, Project and Facility Management (ICPFM), Project Management Professional Institute (PMPI) etc

2. Can professionals practice project management in Nigeria without being a member of CIPMN?

No. The act denies everyone not accredited by the institute the right to practice as project management professionals in Nigeria.

According to the Act, anyone not a member of CIPMN who is practicing project management in Nigeria (for a fee) or using the “Chartered Project Manager” title commits an offence punishable under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Furthermore, the law provides that, a person shall not be entitled to be appointed or engaged to head project management in any organization unless, he is duly registered as a member of the Institute. This means also that organizations employing project managers not duly registered with the institute will be liable to prosecution. Section 19 (2) (5).

3. What will be the specific functions of the Chartered Institute of Project Managers of Nigeria?

To summarize, the institute will regulate the training, education and practice of project management in Nigeria. This includes the power to license project managers to practice in the public and private sectors of Nigeria.

View full details – Section 1 of the CIPMN (Establishment) Act 2017

4. What other project management associations does the Act recognize?

The Act makes specific reference to only two project management bodies. Both references are found in the section describing qualifications required for the position of Registrar.

Interestingly, both project management bodies mentioned in the Act do not exist. They include:

a. Certified Institute of Project Managers, London – There is no institute existing with this name in London. However, this most likely is a reference to the Chartered Institute of Project Management with Head Office in London and branch offices in Nigeria and Ghana.

b. National Association of Project Managers, USA – This association does not exist in the United States of America.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, Section 5 (2) (b) (ii) recognizes professional memberships of individuals who obtained certifications from approved project management professional bodies of foreign countries such as PMP, PRINCE 2 etc. However, the Act provides requirements of how individuals with such licenses can become chartered members of CIPMN. Follow this topic to stay current on this subject.

5. What is the approved qualification and prescribed experience to be a chartered member of the institute?

The Act does not expressly state all pre-requisite qualifications. However, it mandates the governing council to approve qualifications and fields of study as they deem fit. The council also is responsible for determining the length of post qualification experience required to qualify for membership.