By SOLA OGUNDIPE
THE Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria, ICCON, is being repositioned to becoming a major responder in the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan even as chemists have been recognized as the critical pre-requisite in the attainment of the transformation process.
Disclosing this during the 7th Fellowship/Induction ceremony of the Institute in Lagos last week, the Registrar/CEO, ICCON, Prince Jay Oghifo, asserted that the Institute is championing a new course for professional identity of chemists in Nigeria. Oghifo who described the event as a significant step and professional landmark in the annals of the Institute, said they were moving fromadvocacy to actualisation of objectives.
“An induction is always a time of advancement in the life of the inductees and the organisation. It is an outstanding accomplishment that should be seen not as an end but as the beginning of a potentially fulfilling experience in activities of the inductees,” he stated.
Further, Oghifo said: “On the 12th of October this year, an Expert Committee was instituted by the Minister for Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu and he mentioned the role of chemists in development of transformation as indispensable. Government is taking the issue of re-organising the education sector and the Institute should turn around the teaching of chemistry as it is learned and practiced.”
Lamenting that what obtains today in chemistry is not what it should be, Oghifo argued: “We have the responsibility to turn it around. It begins with acquiring knowledge before applying it. There is really the need for review of the curricula and to put chemistry into proper perspective. The immediate input is to see people in the industry come on to reposition the profession and contribute to the well being of the nation.”
Admonishing the new inductees and Fellows to uphold ideals of the profession and institute, he remarked: “Be reminded that being inducted does not make you professional chemists as such. It makes you trainee professional chemists. Our calling goes beyond identifying atoms and molecules.”
A high point of the event was the conferment of honourary Fellowship award of the Institute by ICCON President, Professor Abdullahi Abdu Zuru, on the Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed which was collected on his behalf by the State’s Commissioner for Works, Dr. Abubakar Kannaike.