Hazardous chemicals and industrial wastes generated from chemical and allied industries have been of global concern since the industrial revolution era to this present information age even as chemicals continue to play key roles in our national life.
This was the crux of the deliberations at the Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria (ICCON)’s 15th Mandatory Continuing Professional Development (MCPD) Training Workshop/Investiture held on Wednesday, 20th and Thursday 21st October, 2021 at Mahmud Tukur Theater B, Bayero University Kano, Kano State.
‘The Workshop with the theme: “Chemical Industries and Waste Management in Nigeria: Tackling Present and Future Health Risks and Environmental Hazards” is another milestone in ICCON’s strides toward achieving Professionalism in Chemistry in Nigeria’, ICCON Registrar/CEO, Chemist Jwalshik Wilford, said.
Prof. Fanna Inna Abudulrahman, the incumbent and first female President, and Chairman of Council, ICCON chaired the opening ceremony while the key note address was delivered by Prof. Aliyu Jauro, Director General/CEO National Environmental Standards & Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) ably represented by the Agency’s Zonal Director, North West, Mr Mudashiru O. Abdulraheem.
TECHNICAL SESSION PRESENTATIONS:
Three (3) technical papers were presented at the workshop:
i. “Application of Green Chemistry for the Reduction of Industrial Wastes” delivered by the Vice Chancellor Yusuf Maitama Sule University, Kano, Kano State, Prof. Mukhtar Atiku Kurawa.
ii. “Implications of Inefficient Chemical Inventory Management in Nigeria’s Chemical Industry” presented by Chemist Samuel Timothy Shamang, Vice Chairman, Chemical Society of Nigeria, Abuja Chapter.
iii. “Circular Economy: The Role of Chemistry in Recycling and other Waste Management Practices” by Abdulhafiz Abdullahi, CEO Haau Global Enterprises, Dakata Small Scale Industries, Kano.
CHARTERED CHEMISTS GET ROYAL BLESSINGS!
The occasion was graced by the presence of the Emir of Kano as the Royal Father of the Day who was represented by the Yeriman Kano, Alh. Lamido Abubakar Bayero. The revered Emir gave the Institute his royal blessings, recognizing the vital roles played by chemists in recreating the world.
Other eminent dignitaries at the event include: The Vice Chancellor, Bayero University Kano, represented by the DVC Academics, Prof. Sani Mohammad Gumel, immediate past MD, NDIC, Alh. Ibrahim Umar and Hon. Mustapha Bala Dawaki.
3 QUICK ACTION STEPS FOR BETTER CHEMICAL WASTE HANDLING, PROPOSED!
Establishing a National Chemical Inventory (NCI), applying Green Chemistry principles and operationalizing Circular Economy for reduction of industrial wastes are some of the quick steps identified for an improved chemicals and waste management system.
RECOMMENDATIONS AND ACTION PLAN!
The following resolutions were made at the end of the 15th MCPD.
On National Chemistry Inventory (NCI):
It was observed that most chemical companies and institutions incur huge economic loss due to inefficient chemical inventory management.
Consequently, ICCON and other relevant MDAs including NESREA, NAFDAC and the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovations were urged to work together in establishing the National Chemical Inventory (NCI) for the country, as a matter of national importance.
Chemical companies, laboratories and stores should also endeavour to maintain efficient chemical inventory management system by using standard database programs (software/websites), spread sheet and logbook.
On Green Chemistry:
It was pointed out that majority of chemical industries are reluctant in adopting Green Chemistry processes due to lack of awareness on its benefits. Lack of policies has also been identified as a stumbling block for the application of Green Chemistry in Nigeria.
To this end the Institute (ICCON) was charged to continually promote the awareness on the benefits of Green Chemistry in reducing chemical waste. Government should take decisive action in formulating policies to encourage the application of Green Chemistry in Nigeria.
On Circular Economy:
At the moment, Linear Economy as currently practiced in the country is not environmentally friendly, compared to the Circular Economy model.
As a way forward, ICCON and other relevant MDAs should champion circular economy as it regenerates natural systems by avoidance of environmental damages caused by resource extraction.
Plastic recycling was identified as a major source of entrepreneurial opportunity for graduate chemists. Chartered Chemists should explore these opportunities to create wealth.
OVERCOMING THE CHALLENGE OF UNTRAINED PERSONNEL
The proliferation of untrained personnel handling hazardous chemicals in the country is becoming a serious concern that requires urgent attention by relevant regulatory agencies like ICCON, NAFDAC and NESREA.
NAFDAC and NESREA were called upon to engage only chemical personnel trained and certified by ICCON are involved in handling chemicals.
CHEMICAL SECURITY & SAFETY AWARENESS IN SCHOOLS, INDUSTRIES.
ICCON has resolved to design training programs on Chemical Safety and Security for secondary schools, Tertiary Institutions and Industries as to equip chemical personnel.
The Institute had conducted trainings on Global Harmonized System (GHS) for chemical labelling for schools and other agencies.
OVER 200 CHARTERED CHEMISTS NEWLY INDUCTED.
There were about one hundred and eighty (180) participants, from both public and private sectors. These include: Graduate members from Bayero University Kano (107) and Yisuf Maitama Sule University, Kano (17); Members (72), Honorary Fellows (03), Fellows (32). Other attendees include: Council Members (06), Old Fellows (15), Old Members (34) and ICCON Staff (11).
Notable among the Fellows were: VC (1), DVCs (3), a Clerk to the Senate Committee on Health and the Zanar Kano.
The 15th MCPD Communiqué Team was chaired by Dr. Magaji Ladan while Chem Ifunanya Iroegbulem served as Secretary. Other members include: Chem Yahaya Saidu, Dr. Garba A. Adamu and Chem Linus Aposu. Watch out for ICCON’s 16TH MCPD soon. Visit the Institute’s website https://iccon.gov.ng for more information.