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Date: 2010-02-02 06:01:45
Chemists in the Seven-point agenda

                                                                          ---ICCON NEWS

Address by the President, Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria (ICCON) on the occasion of the Induction of the President and Commander-in- Chief, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Umar Musa Yar’dua as a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria.

Your Excellency, we are indeed profoundly delighted at this privilege of having audience for the first time with a sitting President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
 
Sir, two divine approved events occurred in the country in 2007 that cannot be easily consigned to our historical thrash bin. Firstly, in March 2007, the first batch of Chartered Chemists in Nigeria were inducted, consequently, plugging in the missing link in the chain of our Regulatory Science and Technology Professional Bodies. Secondly and more significant, in May 29, 2007, for the first time in the history of this country a scientist, a renowned Chemist for that matter, became the President and C-in-C of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The coincidence of these events is cause for jubilation. Surely, the nation would expect a style in governance consistent with good science discipline and which happily has started to manifest.

 With the Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria (ICCON), your professional constituency in place and waxing strong, the President is assured of a solid platform from which to tackle the daunting industrial and economic problems of the country. It is therefore a matter of great honour and pride to all chemists in Nigeria represented by those here today to congratulate and felicitate with you, as well as and discuss other matters especially those relating to the national economy and the chemistry profession.

  Your Excellency Sir, permit me to briefly introduce ICCON.
ICCON was established by decree 91 of 1993 as a Parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Health. It was charged with the responsibility of regulating the practice of chemistry by exercising regulatory authority and control over persons either in private, public organizations or corporate bodies, handling chemicals and chemical management matters The Institute has a Governing Council responsible for the administration and general management of the Institute and a Registrar who is the secretary to the Council. Our vision/mission, put succinctly, is to regulate chemical practice and management in the nation.
 
THE ECONOMY
Sir, our hope in the Nigeria Project has been re-enkindled by your public declaration that your focus shall be the economy of the nation, while as we understand, the second and third choices still remain the economy. Your resolve to confront head-on the energy problem is a sure mark of your understanding and appreciation that energy is to industry what food is to the human body. The insidious electricity supply has practically stagnated activities in all sectors of the economy and especially the SME sector, the engine of industrial growth of a nation.  
Mr. President Sir, using the words of our renowned Chemist – Dr. A.K. Fasina,  ‘the power of creation belongs to God, the next power, that of changing matter from one form to another, God gave to Chemists’. As we study your seven point agenda for steering the ship of the state to safe harbor in the next three years, one sees the need for the involvement of chemists in most of the programmes. One may therefore ask: What on earth is not Chemistry?

 In line with your thinking, ICCON notes:
•  Decay of our infrastructure, especially, roads, educational/research institutions, lack of potable water and electricity, security of life and property etc.
• Our total dependence on crude oil and gas for national income, the associated Niger-Delta crisis and frequent fuel scarcity.
• The soaring un-employment; to list just a few.
ICCON is at crossroads to explain why a country divinely endowed with abundant human and material resources is ranked among the poorest nations of the world. A possible explanation could be the obvious mixed grill of corruption and lack of political will to serve the nation. We are proud that we have a President who without equivocation upholds the rule of law, a civilized prerequisite for fighting corruption. This your avowed stance Sir, is already taking its toll on past and present public officers who opted for corrupt practices as a way life.

Mr. President may wish to know that the Governing Council in deciding to induct you considered:
• Your God given profession, a distinguished chemist and a sincere academic.
• Your simple, friendly and urbane personality and ability to strike the right balance between standing up for principles and diplomatic compromises.
• Your consistent anti-corruption stance and respect for the rule of law.
• That you are one of us and consequently we are challenged to ensure your success now and thereafter.
• That without coercion from any quarters you opted to be a servant-leader.
•  That many of the decisions taken in your first one year in office have given succor and relief to most citizens of the nation.

These and many other enviable qualities manifesting each new day influenced         the Council’s decision on the event scheduled today.

 

CHALLENGES
On this occasion Sir, we want to:
• Re-affirm and pledge our loyalty to you and your government.
• Let you know that ICCON is willing and ready to accept any assignment that will make your government succeed in the task of building a better Nigeria.
• Let you know that the ICCON decree of 1993 is under review. In its present form, the decree does not give clear and full authority to ICCON to regulate non-drug chemicals and chemical management. This document will be forwarded to you through the Hon. Minister of Health and we appeal for your support when it is being subjected to legislative scrutiny.
• Request you to pursue a policy that will salvage our educational system, your vocational constituency. Let us revert to studying practical science and technology in our colleges and universities with scholarship incentives, in order to support our development of Science and Engineering Infrastructure.
•  Challenge our scientists and engineers to lend their expertise in exploiting our                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
      Local raw materials through value addition before exportation or local use
• Suggest phasing out the importation of basic chemicals that can be manufactured internally thereby challenging our chemists and creating employment for our youths.

Finally, we want to thank Mr. President for this rare privilege as we now request for a short ceremony to induct you a FELLOW of the Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria (ICCON).

God bless Mr. President!
God bless ICCON!
God bless Nigeria!

  Harry Okolo
 President ICCON
May 13,2008

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