Chemical Society of Nigeria Urges Buhari to Sign ICCON Act into Law 

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Chemical Society of Nigeria Urges Buhari to Sign ICCON Act into Law

By Femi Adi,Kaduna

The President of CSN, Professor Sunday Olawale Okeniyi

The Chemical Society of Nigeria, CSN have recently given profuse commendation to the National Assembly for passing the amended Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria, ICCON act into law.
While commending the National Assembly, the Society have also called on President Mohammadu Buhari, to kindly give approval and sign the amended ICCON act into law in order to adequately secure, protect and safe the chemical space in Nigeria.

This was contained in a communique signed by the President of CSN, Professor Sunday Olawale Okeniyi at the end of the Society’s 42nd Annual International Conference and 4th African Conference on Research in Chemistry Education (ACRICE) in Lagos.
The Conference, tagged Eko 2019 with the theme: “Chemistry Education and Sustainable Development” among other recommendations said that Curriculum review in the Nation’s educational space should be regular and industry driven, adding that secondary and tertiary education chemistry curriculum in Nigeria should be reviewed so as to concentrate more on practical knowledge than theory, which will in turn instil entrepreneurial skills and ability on the graduates from these levels of education.

He added that; “Concept and knowledge of chemical security, safety and management should be incorporated in the chemistry educational curriculum to be reviewed in Nigeria in order to facilitate adequate knowledge of chemical management, security and safety amongst the chemical practitioners and stakeholders.”

He further reiterated that “Government should encourage and promote adequate synergy between academia and the industry; so as to facilitate transfer of chemistry research outputs, knowledge and technology from laboratories to industries for appropriate investments.

The Communique also suggested that; Government should deploy adequate funding and infrastructure such as energy and telecommunication (bandwidth) to teaching/learning and research in the Nigerian educational institutions in order to measure up with best practices in a competitive global knowledge economy.

“For Nigeria to aspire to move on to the level of fourth industrial revolution globally, chemistry as a discipline must be driven by appropriately positioning our chemistry education curriculum in line with international best practices.

“Chemistry, as a discipline should be supported as it is pivotal to achieving the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) in Nigeria on or before year 2030.Training in the chemical sciences should also be given a special and unique status it deserves, considering the specialized nature of the skills chemists are expected to acquire during training.

“Government should re-assess its science education policy to give particular and special attention to chemistry education in view of the importance of chemistry and science knowledge to Nigeria’s dream of industrial revolution.

“Chemical industries based on renewable natural resources are the

weapon to fast track sustainable chemical education in Nigeria and Africa

“Government should motivate chemistry teachers at the Secondary School levels in Nigeria to enhance effective discharge of their academic duties and functions,” the communique stated.

According to them, the concept of “Alternative-to-Practical’ currently embedded in the curriculum and being practiced in the Nigerian educational training institutions should be discouraged and totally outlawed.

Read full text of Communiqué:
COMMUNIQUE OF THE CHEMICAL SOCIETY OF NIGERIA (CSN) AT ITS 42ND ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE AND THE 4TH AFRICAN CONFERENCE ON RESEARCH IN CHEMISTRY EDUCATION (ACRICE-4) HELD AT THE ACADEMY GUEST HOUSE AND EVENT HALLS, PLOT 6, LATEEF JAKANDE ROAD, BY ACME ROAD, AGIDINGBI, IKEJA, LAGOS ON 8TH- 13TH SEPTEMBER, 2019

WITH THE THEME

“CHEMISTRY EDUCATION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT”

PREAMBLE

The Chemical Society of Nigeria (CSN), the umbrella body of all Chemists in Nigeria was founded in 1971 to raise national consciousness on the centrality of Chemistry to the overall progress of Man and Development of Society.

The Society in its more than forty-eight years historical existence, traditionally conducts an annual international conference where topical issues of societal concerns as they relate to chemical sciences, technical research papers in chemistry and scientific exhibitions are presented and considered in depth.

The Annual Conference, Workshop and Exhibition organised for her members, are always graced by eminent Chemistry Scholars and technocrats to present papers of national and/or international chemistry education importance. This annual conference is the largest annual activities of CSN devoted to the science and practice of chemistry.
The 2019 Annual Conference, tagged Eko 2019 is the 42nd edition for the CSN with the theme: “Chemistry Education and Sustainable Development” and was jointly organized in collaboration with the 4th African Conference on Research in Chemistry Education (ACRICE) .

The conference took place at the Academy Guest House and Event Halls, Plot 6, Lateef Jakande Road by ACME Road, Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos between Sunday, 8th – Friday, 13th September 2019.

The theme was carefully selected in view of the pivotal role chemistry plays in industrial and human development and to locate the chemical sciences in the overall pursuit of the global Agenda 2030, also known as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In execution, the Conference hosted one keynote and six plenary speakers, from Nigeria and South Africa (one via Skype); a green teachers’ workshop for Secondary School teachers of chemistry and a Refresher Workshop on elucidation of chemical structures of novel or new-found molecules or compounds. Technical sessions, including oral and poster presentations on the different aspects/branches of chemistry and chemistry education focused on its relevance to national development. The Annual Women in Chemistry Breakfast and Lecture was also held; this was the second in the series.

Over Eighty fellows of the society or their representatives and more than 700 other members attended the Conference.

The Opening Ceremony was addressed by the special guest of honour, Her Excellency Dr (Mrs) Sanwoolu, the wife of the Executive Governor of Lagos state, ably represented by Mrs. Dupe Ibidunmi on Tuesday, 10 September, 2019. The Keynote Paper, ‘Chemistry Education and Global Development: Challenges and Way Forward’ was presented via Skype by Professor (Mrs) Marietjie Potgieter of the Department of Chemistry & Deputy Dean, Teaching and Learning, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa outlined the activities that will drive Nigerian chemistry educational enterprise toward globalization.
These include increased partnership with world class centres, taking advantage of human and natural resources to produce goods and services for self-employment, local employment, state employment and global employment, and finally, encouraging universities to develop internal strategies for marketing their intellectual properties through patents and copyrights .

Professor Adebola Oyedeji of Faculty of Natural Sciences, Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences, Walter Sisulu University, Republic of South Africa in her paper titled “Non-Petroleum Related Chemical Industries As A Weapon For Fast Tracking Sustainable Chemical Education In Nigeria And Africa” submitted that “Yes, Renewable natural resources and chemical industries are weapons to fast track sustainable chemical education and industries in Nigeria and Africa through Chemistry, Chemical Education and 4th Industrial Revolution. The benefits of industrial student mentorship was demonstrated by a range of products the students developed and produced themselves in an exhibition at the conference.

OBSERVATIONS
Conference participants observed and noted as follows:
1. Secondary and tertiary education chemistry curriculum in Nigeria concentrates more on theoretical knowledge than practical knowledge. This curriculum does not instil entrepreneurial skills and ability on the graduates from these levels of education, therefore curriculum review should be regular and industry driven

2. Knowledge of chemical security, safety and management should be incorporated in the chemistry educational curriculum in Nigeria to facilitate the protection of her chemical space.
3. There is little or no synergy between academia and the industry; such that chemistry research outputs from the academia are not available for industries to invest on.

4. Teaching/learning and research take place in resource-poor contexts therefore making it near impossible for Nigerian educational institutions to measure up in an increasingly competitive global knowledge economy. The availability of infrastructure such as energy and telecommunication (bandwidth) is a critical and vital need in Nigerian educational space.
5. There is poor and huge lack of requisite financial funding and infrastructural facilities to support quality chemistry teaching and research activities in Nigeria’s educational system.

6. There is little or no motivation for Chemistry teachers at the Secondary School level in Nigeria to enhance an optimal performance of their academic duties and functions.
7. The concept of “Alternative-to-Practical’ is still a common practice in the Nigerian secondary and tertiary science and chemistry training curriculum, indicating gross infrastructural inadequacy and poor remuneration of teachers.
RECOMMENDATIONS

Proceeding from the above, participants agreed with the following recommendations:
i. The fact that Curriculum review should be regular and industry driven, secondary and tertiary education chemistry curriculum in Nigeria should be reviewed so as to concentrate more on practical knowledge than theory, which will in turn instil entrepreneurial skills and ability on the graduates from these levels of education.
ii. Concept and knowledge of chemical security, safety and management should be incorporated in the chemistry educational curriculum to be reviewed in Nigeria in order to facilitate adequate knowledge of chemical management, security and safety amongst the chemical practitioners and stakeholders.

iii. Government should encourage and promote adequate synergy between academia and the industry; so as to facilitate transfer of chemistry research outputs, knowledge and technology from laboratories to industries for appropriate investment.
iv. Government should deploy adequate funding and infrastructure such as energy and telecommunication (bandwidth) to teaching/learning and research in Nigerian educational institutions in order to measure up with best practices in a competitive global knowledge economy.

v. For Nigeria to aspire to move on to the level of fourth industrial revolution globally, chemistry as a discipline must be driven by appropriately positioning our chemistry education curriculum in line with international best practices.
vi. Chemistry, as a discipline should be supported as it is pivotal to achieving the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) in Nigeria on or before year 2030.Training in the chemical sciences should also be given a special and unique status it deserves, considering the specialized nature of the skills chemists are expected to acquire during training.

vii. Government should re-assess its science education policy to give particular and special attention to chemistry education in view of the importance of chemistry and science knowledge to Nigeria’s dream of industrial revolution.
viii. Chemical industries based on renewable natural resources are the
weapon to fast track sustainable chemical education in Nigeria and Africa

ix. Government should motivate chemistry teachers at the Secondary School levels in Nigeria to enhance effective discharge of their academic duties and functions.
x. The concept of “Alternative-to-Practical’ currently embedded in the curriculum and being practiced in the Nigerian educational training institutions should be discouraged and totally outlawed.

RESOLUTIONS
The Conference, therefore, resolved as follows:

a. The Chemical Society of Nigeria (CSN) and the Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria (ICCON) should be given the required impetus to drive the process of mainstreaming chemistry education and tailoring the chemistry curriculum in our nation’s educational institutions in line with established best practices.

b. The two bodies (CSN & ICCON) appreciate and commend the National Assembly for passing into law the amended ICCON Act and profusely plead with the President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR to kindly give approval and signthe amended ICCON act into law in order to secure, protect and safe the chemical space in Nigeria.

c. The Chemical Society of Nigeria (CSN) pledges its unalloyed loyalty to the Federal Government of Nigeria under the able leadership of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria and will be willing to partner and assist the government and private sector in the implementation of the recommendations contained herein.
Long Live Chemical Society of Nigeria!

Long Live Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria (ICCON)!!
Long Live Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!

Signed
Prof. S. O.Okeniyi, PhD, FCSN, FICCON, CChem.

The President, Chemical Society of Nigeria (CSN).

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