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Date: 2010-02-02 06:06:05
As we move towards an era of consolidation

   Mrs. Gladys E. Eke
                              (Registrar / CEO)

In the words of an ancient philosopher, “You may not do much about the past, but you can certainly change the future for the better”.

Events of the recent past in the life of the Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria (ICCON) are worth some moments of reflection, as they portend a future in which the analytical minds of Nigerian chemists would have an enabling environment to positively recreate society for the better.

The Institute’s second Induction Ceremony on the 7th of November, 2007 in Abuja, which preceded the maiden Annual General Meeting (AGM), witnessed an unprecedented turn-out of chemists from different spheres of practice. More than 800 chemists were inducted, bringing the membership of ICCON so far to well over 1,500 in different categories. Beyond the overwhelming number, the enthusiasm demonstrated by the inductees as well as the animated contributions of members at the AGM are indicative of the collective resolve of Nigerian chemists to take their destiny in their own hands and fully transform the practice of chemistry from a discipline to a profession.

More recently, a watershed was recorded in the life of ICCON with the induction into its Fellowship of the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, a renowned chemist. The colourful investiture ceremony took place on the 13th of May, 2008 at the Presidential Villa, Aso Rock, Abuja. This epoch-making event has indeed earned ICCON a most welcome leverage.

Fellow chemists, in the light of the fore-going, there is no gainsaying the fact that our ever-creative minds are facing a contemporary challenge: the challenge of CONSOLIDATING on what we have achieved thus far enroute moving our cherished profession to the next level. In the words of President Yar’Adua during his investiture, “…At this time of daunting economic challenges, we need to apply the productive principles of chemistry in driving the ship of nationhood.” According to him, the principles of chemistry drive his inner conviction and inspiration, as chemistry is “a profession that is in tune with nature and creation, and predicated on truth and sincerity.” It is indeed gratifying that Mr. President’s disposition is in synchrony with the central vision of ICCON – to recreate situations around us that will impact positively on the nation while providing professional protection to its members.

It has become necessary to take certain measures in response to the needs of the day. For instance, electronic copies of the ICCON Decree were in the recent past sent via e-mail to all registered members with a view to getting their inputs towards an amendment of the Decree. This is to make the document more responsive to the needs of contemporary times. It is pertinent to emphasize that members should see this as a clarion call to contribute towards the noble quest of fashioning out a more viable working document that would guide chemistry practice in Nigeria. The Secretariat eagerly awaits your inputs.

Measures are also being taken to announce ICCON to the larger society. In the light of this, some renowned chemists in different spheres of practice from the six geo-political zones of the country have been approached to write feature articles; these are to be published serially in selected national dailies, highlighting the crucial role of chemists and chemistry in the socio-economic development of Nigeria. The serial publications are to commence soon, and I wish to appeal to all who have been approached in this regard to see this assignment as their own peculiar contributions towards the advancement of our cherished profession in Nigeria.

In line with the current trend of globalization, the Institute’s website has been upgraded and made more dynamic. I am happy to report that, apart from its primary function of serving as an interface between ICCON and the outside world in terms of disseminating useful information, the site now has facility for online registration; and indeed the Secretariat is already receiving application forms through this means! In the light of this, I wish to appeal to members, prospective members and the general public to visit www.iccon.org.ng and see things for themselves. 

The website is also meant to serve as a revenue yielding option for the Institute. For instance, we intend to have commercial adverts from corporate bodies pasted on the site. In addition, ICCON is exploring the possibility of establishing an electronic library (e-library) section on the website for its registered members. To this end, the possibility of linking this virtual library to well-known international chemistry-based websites is being explored. When fully established, it is expected that revenue would also accrue to the Institute by way of subscriptions.

On another note, ICCON has embarked on the process of admitting corporate organizations into its membership. Our major targets in this regard are organizations whose business activities are wholly or partially chemistry-based.  This synergy seeks to ensure that all chemistry-based operations in such corporate bodies are professionalized. While we hope to keep our members regularly updated in this regard, it is also pertinent to call on chemists in different corporate organizations nationwide to aid the Institute in getting their organizations to take up ICCON corporate membership. The corporate application forms can also be downloaded from the Institute’s website.

You probably have noticed that “ICCON News” has metamorphosed from a newsletter to a full-fledged magazine. Also of interest is the fact that the publication’s frequency will increase from bi-annual to quarterly. As you savour its contents, please be informed that the magazine is meant to thrive on your inputs in terms of suitable articles as well as commercial adverts. E-mails have been sent to all registered members in this regard, and we reiterate our resolve to make every member of ICCON a stakeholder in “ICCON News” which is one of the Institute’s tools for information dissemination.

At this juncture, let me acknowledge the fact that the Secretariat has been inundated of late with enquiries from members on the Institute’s calendar of activities for the year 2008. While conceding that necessary organizational (and developmental) changes taking place within the Institute have apparently slowed the pace of ICCON activities in more recent times, I wish to assure all members that the Institute is putting structures and modalities in place towards the organization of viable programmes for the year. Activities being planned in this regard include Mandatory Continuing Professional Development (MCPD) training programmes, which may be interwoven with skills acquisition workshops, admission processes and subsequent induction ceremony, Annual General Meeting (AGM) for 2008 etc. Other frequently asked questions are being looked into. I crave the indulgence of members as we strive towards fashioning out the ICCON of our dreams.

Finally, it is natural that I acknowledge with profound gratitude and appreciation the efforts and sacrifices of members who have either visited the Secretariat physically or sent mails to make invaluable suggestions on possible means of moving ICCON forward. I also wish to salute the tireless efforts of our able Governing Council members in the various working committees. Let me single out for special mention, individuals and corporate bodies who have contributed towards our new-look “ICCON News.” Please do not relent.

Above all, we give all thanks and glory to God Almighty, our help in ages past and our hope for times to come, for His continued benefits to ICCON.

In conclusion, please feel free to make suggestions to the Institute on the way forward. You can send a mail to info@iccon.org.ng, while those concerned specifically with registration / membership can be sent to registration@iccon.org.ng.  Indeed your contributions would be greatly appreciated. Together we would move the chemistry profession forward to a better future – for ourselves, for future generations and for posterity.

Thank you and happy reading!

  ---ICCON NEWS

 

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