POLYMER INSTITUTE OF NIGERIA 
...Since 1989

A welcome Address by the National President, Polymer Institute of Nigeria (PIN), Prof. Paul Mamza, FPIN at the opening Ceremony of the 28th Annual Technical Conference holding in Port Harcourt on 26th October , 2017

Protocol

His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Chief (Barrister) Ezenwo Nyesom Wike,

The Chairman of the Occasion,

Guest of honour,

Your Royal Highness,

Chairman, Board of Directors, PIN

Members, Board of Directors, PIN

Members, National Executive Committee, PIN

The Chief Host,

Past Presidents of PIN,

Fellows of the Institute and other Professional Bodies,

Distinguished members of the Institute and other Professional Bodies,

Distinguished Invitees,

Great Polymer Students,

Gentlemen of the Press,

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

1.0      Introduction

I am very delighted to welcome you all to the 28th Annual Technical Conference/Annual General meeting holding in the Garden city of Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

This year’s conference is very unique and special. ‘Port Harcourt 2017’ is on record as the first International Conference of the Polymer Institute of Nigeria. The lead Speakers are either from South Africa or Canada. A Conference of this nature like you know is geared towards addressing some of the challenges plaguing the Polymer Industry vis-à-vis Nigeria as a country. The theme of this year Conference “Polymer and Nanomaterials in the 21st Century’’, is apt in the fact that Nanotechnology of Polymers is the current area of interest in the Scientific and Technological world. The outcome of such discourse from this Conference should be able to enable the relevant authorities concerned to key-into the confronting realities of our time. The choice of Port Harcourt for this conference is both symbolic and strategic, symbolic because PortHarcourt  is the operational homebase of our amiable Chairman of Board of Directors, Chief Alexis N. Ajuebon and strategic because Port Harcourt is the hub of industrial activities in the South-South geopolitical zone of Nigeria.

I must confess that the initial choice of Port Harcourt came with challenges of uncertainty and pessimism due to the fact that Port Harcourt district was moribund  before now, but with the fire-power for defiance by the current PIN leadership under my watch, in confronting even in the toughest of the challenges and the exceptional dint of hard work by the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) under the chairmanship of Prof A. Akaranta and his formidable team, ‘Port Harcourt 2017’ became a living reality that we are witnessing today. Let us congratulate ourselves over this great feat and breakthrough.

2.0      Brief History of PIN

Permit me at this junction to briefly introduce PIN for the benefit of our distinguished guests. The Institute was established by the Company act of 1968 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in August, 1991 though the Polymer Institute of Nigeria had been in existence since July, 1989. The Institute is to, amongst others promote, advance and develop the application of Polymer Science, Engineering and Technology in the Polymer and Allied Industries in Nigeria and acts as a Professional body for prescribing standard of experience and efficiency in the research and education in all facets of Polymer Science, Engineering and Technology.

3.0      Chartering of PIN

The Polymer Institute of Nigeria has come of age. The bill for the establishment of Chartered Polymer Institute of Nigeria has passed first and second reading at the separate meetings of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and concurrently, at the House of Representatives. The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki has referred the bill to the Committee on Public matters and establishment, awaiting a public hearing. PIN wishes to express its gratitude to Chairman, PIN Board of Directors, Chief Alexis N. Ajuebon, the GMD, Flour Mills Plc, Lagos, Mr. Paul Gbededo, Former President of PIN, Ms. Mary Ikokwu and other notable contributors to this laudable Project. It is now evident that PIN is undergoing massive transformations from a Professional body status to an agency of Government in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Trade, Industry and Investment or Science and Technology in this order of preference.

When Chartered, PIN shall be the flagship of legislation, policy formulation and enforcement of standards in Polymer and allied Industries in Nigeria,it will also set standards for higher Institutions of learning offering Polymer courses. With the pool of the Professionals, made up of Polymer Scientists, Engineers, Technologists and Industrialists in the Institute, the transformation will be smooth.

4.0      PIN Collaboration with other Agencies/Parastatals

I am glad to report that the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) One Million (NGN1,000,000.00) yearly Institutional Award Competition for Tertiary Institutions and Research Institutes have come to stay. The results of the assessment of this year entries show that:

(1) Tenebe, O.C, et al Federal University of Technology,Owerri 1st.

(2) Nep, E.P. et al University of Jos came 2nd.

(3) Haruna Musa and Abubakar A. Abubakar-Bayero University, Kano came 3rd.

Furthermore, the Institute in collaboration with the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) is working-out a Memorandum of Understanding for PIN-NBTE workshop on Curriculum Review and Development for all Nigerian Polytechnics offering Polymer courses, discussions are on-going to determine the minimum academic requirements as a Pre-requisite for teaching Polymer Courses in Nigerian Polytechnics. Similar discussions with the Nigeria Universities Commission (NUC) is in the offing.

5.0      PIN Secretariat

The current PIN leadership had initiated the process of securing a land for building a permanent Secretariat in Abuja at Gwagwalada, Kuje Road. The present Secretariat which is situated at Plot 519, Olu Awotesu Street, Jabi District Abuja is a single room apartment and PIN rents it at Five Hundred and Ninety Two Thousand and Seventy Four Naira (NGN592, 074.00) every year, which is exorbitant. Let me appeal to high spirited individuals to help by donating generously to this proposed Building Project of PIN Permanent Secretariat.

6.0      Polymer Science and Technology, Nation-building and the state of the nation:

The Nigerian economical potentials must move from over dependence on crude oil proceeds to investment on technology and industrialization, if the country must follow the path of economic recovery. PIN is hereby reaffirming its willingness to assist the Federal Government and other levels of government in all spheres of the professional endeavors and assures of a value-oriented contribution towards the diversification of the economy. Government should create a conducive environment for the manufacturing activities to pick-up which will ensure the revival of the ailing Polymer Industries. In order to ensure growth and development of the Polymer and allied Industries in Nigeria, PIN is offering a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Programmes yearly on request by the Industries. The 21st Century Nigeria must seek alternative modern clean technologies and Nanotechnology offers enormous possibilities to enhance the socio-economic development of the country.  We are presently at crossroad and Nigerians have never had it so rough. The economy is in shambles while the recovery effort is slow.The keynote address which will be delivered by an erudite scholar, Prof. Sunny Iyuke will no doubt address these prevailing issues and concerns. Also, the lead Speakers, Prof. Emmanuel Rotimi Sadiku, celebrated researcher from Tshwane University of Technology in South Africa and the cerebral Prof. Adango Madonye from Cape-Bretton University, Sydney, Canada will bring out in details the flavor of this discourse.

This year conference will come to a climax tomorrow, 27th October, 2017 with the Award Night Ceremony at Jevinik Place, 57, Tombia Street, GRA Phase II, Port Harcourt where fellowship of the Institute will be conferred on deserving personalities who have contributed immensely to the practice and propagation of Polymer Science and Technology knowledge in Nigeria. These eminent scholars and technocrats are:

1.  Alhaji Ibrahim Usman Jibril, Hon. Minister of State, Environment (Honorary), Federal Republic of Nigeria.

2.  Engr. Abali Muhammad, MD, WRPC, Warri-Delta State.

3.  Prof. Emmanuel Rotimi Sadiku, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa.

4.  Prof. Isaac Ogbennaya Igwe, Department of Polymer and Textile Engineering, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State.

7.0      Conclusion

Words alone cannot quantify our gratitude to our amiable Chairman, PIN Board of Directors, Chief Alexis N. Ajuebon, MD, ANA Industries Ltd Port Harcourt, Mr. Paul Gbededo, GMD, Flour Mills, Apapa-Lagos, Chief (Dr.)Innocent Akuvue, MD, GGI International Ltd Port Harcourt, Mr Manish Mundra, MD, Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals Limited, Port Harcourt,
Dr. H. D. Ibrahim, DG, RMRDC, Abuja and Prof. B.T Nwufo, Department of Chemistry, University of Jos, our Board Secretary/Past President, PIN.

I appreciate the presence of our past Presidents at this occasion and pay glowing tributes to them. Iam indebted to all our stakeholders in our drive towards Chartering. The individual efforts of our professional colleagues had shown that with loyalty, patience, perseverance and diligence, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Let me specially thank the Chairman, LOC, Prof. A. Akaranta, Prof. J. Otaigbe and other members of the team for working tirelessly to see to the success of this Conference, we at the Polymer Institute of Nigeria will ever remember these untiring sacrifices and contributions. To our versatile elders and veterans of our great Institute, I say thank you for coming to always identify with hopes and aspirations of the Institute you built. I say thank you and I am very proud of you all, the Almighty God will continue to give you good health and long life so that the Institute can continue to benefit from your words of advice and wisdom. To our esteemed and respected members and Fellows, I say thank you all, for keeping the flag-flying. I salute your courage, resilience, commitment, loyalty, contributions and perseverance to the growth of the Institute. May God bless us.

Thank you.

 

Prof Paul Mamza, FPIN, MICCON, MMSN, MNEST, MATTPN, ANIST

National President