By Tosin Kolade
The President of the Chemical Society of Nigeria (CSN), Prof. Rufus Sha’ato, has pledged to work with all stakeholders to tackle the misuse of agrochemicals in food production in the country.
Sha’ato, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja, said the move was necessary to improve export quality of agricultural products and to promote economic development.
According to him, high concentration of agrochemicals in food production especially in fruit ripening is a major problem in exportation of agricultural products from most African countries including Nigeria.
Sha’ato, who is the 16th President of the society, assured Nigerians that chemists would collaborate with other stakeholders to sensitise rural farmers on safe use of chemicals in farming practices.
This, he said would go a long way to reduce health risks and make Nigeria’s agricultural products acceptable locally and internationally.
Sha’ato also noted that 11 goals of the 17 sustainable development goals required the application of chemistry, saying that was why many developed countries engage chemists actively in its attainment.
He underscored the significance of chemistry in achieving sustainable development goals, pledging to advocate for the prioritisation of chemistry in national policies.
The president assured that CSN would continue to push for prioritisation of the use of chemistry in those areas so that all tiers of government could understand the importance of the profession.
“In the next three years of our tenure, CSN will deploy modern and innovative technology, leveraging on use of ICT for effective communication and service delivery.
“This is so to enhance the practice of chemistry with greater impacts to be mainstreamed into national social economic life and to drive industrial development as well as create more employment opportunities for graduates, “he said.
In his remarks, immediate past President of the society, Prof. Moses Chendo, called on the new administration to improve partnership with relevant public and private sectors, including the Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria (ICCON).
He said that such partnership was to maximally utilise the chemistry profession towards solving national problems.
The don, however, regretted that Nigeria had not invested adequately in Research and Development which has been our bane.
“Nigeria must invest in research and development, taking our research output out of the laboratory to the market is the best way to go.
“Unless we commercialise our academic research products, self-reliance and economic sustainability will be a mirage, “Chendo said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that CSN, formed since 1972, is one of the frontline professional bodies that has played key roles in national development.
Worthy of note is the mass production of “Chemsotiser” high quality hand sanitisers, donated to the Presidential Task Force during the peak of the fight again COVID-19 pandemic.
CSN is an umbrella body of chemical scientists in Nigeria whose members are professionals from the academia, MDAs and industries. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Chijioke Okoronkwo