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. Section 15 (1)

To be accredited as a chartered member, the act stipulates an applicant to have been in active continuous practice for a period of 5 years as a project manager. Section (14) (3)

6. What are the categories of professional membership of the Chartered Institute of Project Managers of Nigeria?

Section 5 (1) requires the CIPMN to function with 6 professional membership categories:

1. Fellow
2. Chartered Member
3. Graduate Member
4. Associate Member
5. Corporate Member
6. Student Member

The table below shows the membership categories of CIPMN and their appellations

Chartered Institute of Project Managers of Nigeria membership categories

7. How will the body be funded?

CIPMN will be financed in the following ways:

1. The new body will inherit all the assets that belonged to the Institute before it became chartered

2. Proceeds from membership fees

3. Receivables from the Institutes’ activities (this should include such line items as examination fees, event fees etc)

4. Return on investments from the Institutes’ funds and assets.

It is also expected that the Institute will be funded by the Federal Government’s National Budget as currently applicable to all chartered professional bodies in Nigeria.

Ref: Part 2 of the CIPMN (Establishment) Act 2017 – Financial Provisions

8. What is the process of joining the Institute?

Generally, the act provides for everyone seeking membership to apply formally with proof of academic qualifications and/or certifications. However, applications for chartered memberships must also be accompanied with sufficient evidence of relevant working experience. Applicants are further required to pass stipulated exam(s) before enrolment.

9. How will CIPMN regulate project management training and education in Nigeria?

1. The governing council of the institute will approve Project Management Training Courses. They will also approve the institutions that conduct project management training for people who will be admitted to the institute.

2. The council will approve qualifications issued by these institutions and monitor the exams they conduct.

3. The law provides for CIPMN to accredit universities and higher institutions awarding degrees and diplomas for project management courses in Nigeria.

4. The council will make rules for training of registered members and suitable persons.

5. The council can withdraw the approval of any course, qualification or institute it earlier granted. However, this withdrawal will not affect any registrations or qualifications granted before the withdrawal.

Ref: Section 15  of CIPMN (Establishment) Act 2017

10. What is the leadership structure of the Chartered Institute of Project Managers Of Nigeria?

The Act establishes a governing council responsible for the administration and general management of the institute. The governing council consists of the following members:

1. Chairman of the council of the Institute

2. President of the Institute

3. Two Vice- Presidents of the Institute

4. A representative of each of: Federal Ministry of Finance, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing and Federal Ministry of Education

5. Two representative(s) of the Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture(NACCIMA)

6. A coordinator from each of the geopolitical Zones of the Federation

7. Immediate past President of the Institute

8. The registrar of the Institute, who shall be the secretary of the council

Ref: CIPMN (Establishment Act) 2017 – Section 2


According to the Act, the Governing Council will make new rules from time to time. These new rules will further define how the project management profession in Nigeria will be regulated.

This Article has provided answers to the most pertinent questions on the provisions of the Act. It is also important to understand how these provisions impact practicing project professionals already certified, organizations and institutions involved in projects in Nigeria.

The onus rests on CIPMN to determine when and how this law will be enforced. The overall effectiveness of this Act will be determined by a combination of factors; while its positive impact in curbing the rate of project failures in Nigeria will progressively increase over time.

If you have any unanswered questions, please  feel free to post your comments below or send us an email (

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The answers provided are the results of our analysis of the Chartered Institute of Project Managers of Nigeria (Establishment) Act 2017 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. All opinions consequently expressed in this article are based solely on the provisions of this Act and are not necessarily our opinion.

About ArchVision Workgroup Ltd.

ArchVision Workgroup is a leading project management consulting firm in Nigeria providing comprehensive project management services with specialisation in Construction, IT and Enterprise Project Management. By utilising high calibre project teams and tailored methodologies, we partner with clients to deliver outstanding project results in the public and private sectors of Nigeria. Learn more about our services
October 14th, 2018

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