A Welcome Address by
the National President, Polymer Institute of Nigeria (PIN), Prof. Paul Mamza, FPIN, FICCON, FCSN at the Opening
Ceremony of the 30th Technical Conference/Annual General Meeting
(AGM) of the Polymer Institute of Nigeria holding at the University of Ibadan
between 23rd - 26th October, 2019.
Let me specially welcome you all to the 30th Annual Technical Conference/Annual General Meeting of the Polymer Institute of Nigeria holding in the largest city in West Africa and home of the famous Premier University of Ibadan. Let me pay special tribute to the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof. A. I. Olayinka, FAS, FNMGS, FNAPS, FGS who is the Chief host for his hospitality and support in ensuring the successful hosting of this year’s PIN Conference.
The Theme of this year’s PIN Conference: Polymer Waste Management: A Source of Economic Recovery in Nigeria is apt and carefully chosen to be in conformity with the nation’s present economic crisis and public outcry on the menace posed by polymer wastes. As Professionals and stakeholders in polymer wastes management in Nigeria, there’s a need for a concerted efforts to tackle this lingering problem or making valuable suggestions to the Federal Government.
2.0 Brief History of PIN
Permit me at this juncture 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. The Chartered Polymer Institute of Nigeria bill 2018 has passed all the three readings in the Senate and House of Representatives and is awaiting Presidential assent.
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 the accreditation of Polymer courses in all the relevant institutions of learning in the country.
3.0 The Role of Polymer Science and Technology in the Disposal and Utilisation of Polymer Wastes for Economic recovery in Nigeria
It is no more a secret that the management of polymer wastes, especially plastic waste has been a recurring decimal in the national discourse; with some politicians and public analysts seeking for outright ban on plastics in Nigeria without appropriately reasoned scientific and technological analyses of ramifications and impact of such decision on the national industrial development. Of recent, the House of Representative considered a bill that would prohibit the management and use of single-plastic bags in Nigeria. The bill has passed first reading in the House of Representative. This is worrisome because in some countries like Singapore, plastic wastes were utilized to generate power. In the Netherlands, plastic wastes are exchanged with groceries. The Government of Nigeria rather than ban the use of plastic bags should engage the polymer professionals in finding ways of disposing plastics which is environmentally friendly and utilisation of wastes to generate wealth. Nigeria must be integrated into the technological world where plastic wastes are used as a veritable instrument for economic recovery rather than simple ban.
We live in an age in which practically almost everything we throw away is made of eternal indestructible plastics because plastics are fast replacing our traditional materials due to its low cost and higher technical advantages. With the hazards associated with the disposal of plastics, there is the urgent need for polymer professionals to engage the Government in robust methods through the use of biodegradable plastics and utilisation of plastic waste for economic recovery in Nigeria.
PIN is hereby affirming its willingness to assist the Federal Government in all spheres of its professional endeavours and assures of a value-oriented contribution towards the successful tackling of the inherent challenges of the current menace posed by plastics to the environment. The Federal Ministry of Environment has invited PIN to a National Stakeholders’ Workshop for the Review/Validation of draft National Policy on Plastic Life Cycle Management in Nigeria on 12th September, 2019 in Abuja and PIN presented an articulated position and clear strategy on how to tackle the environmental pollution due to plastic wastes in Nigeria without recourse to frivolities and false alarm.
The keynote address which will be delivered by the DG, NESREA, Abuja, Prof. Aliyu Jauro and two lead papers by a renowned Professor of Environmental Chemistry, Professor Oladele Osibanjo, Chairman/CEO Jawura Environmental Services, Ikeja, Lagos and Dr. Taiwo Babatunde Hammed of Renewable Energy Resource Centre, University of Ibadan will no doubt address these prevailing issues and concerns.
This year’s Conference will come to a climax tomorrow, 25th October, 2019 with Award Night Ceremony at the IITA International House, Ibadan where Fellowship of the Institute will be conferred on deserved personalities who have contributed immensely to the practice and propagation of Polymer Science and Technology Knowledge and Practice in our country. These eminent scholars and technocrats are:
1. Prof. Aliyu Jauro, Director-General, National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, NESREA, Abuja
2. Prof. Kayode Oyebode Adebowale, Professor of Industrial Chemistry and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), University of Ibadan
3. Prof. Victor Adeola Popoola, Professor of Polymer Science, Federal University of Technology, Akure
4. Chief Premkumar Alexander Oommen, Technical Director and General Manager, Hassan Plastics Industries Ltd, Bompai, Kano and
5. Dr. Patrick Friday Momoh, Federal Polytechnic Auchi and PIN Secretary General.
Gold Medal Awards will also be presented to two eminent personalities whose sterling contributions to PIN are outstanding. There are as follows:
1. Chief Alexis N. Ajuebon, former Chairman, Board of Directors, PIN and current Chairman, Board of Trustees, PIN.
2. Chief Engr. Kunle Ogunade, the pioneer President.
3. Prof. B.T Nwufo, Past President, PIN, Past Secretary to the Board of Directors, PIN and current Secretary to Board of Trustees, PIN.
4.0 PIN Collaboration with other Agencies/Parastatals
I am glad to report that the PIN/Raw Materials Research and Development Council (PIN/RMRDC) one million naira worth yearly Institutional Award Competition amongst all higher Institutions of learning and research institutes which is to promote excellence in the area of Polymer Science and Technology research in Nigeria have come to stay. The results of the assessment for this year’s entries show that:
(i) 1st Prize Winner-Jacob Joseph from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
(ii) 2nd Prize Winners-Muktari, S., Ishiaku, U.S and Lawal, A.S also from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
(iii) 3rd Prize Winners-Lawrence O. Ekebaje., Favour A. Omalade Akpa and David A. Olugbimide from Federal Polytechnic Auchi.
Furthermore, the Institute has been working in collaboration with the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), National Universities Commission (NUC), the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), the Federal Ministries of Science and Technology, Environment and that of Trade, Industry and Investment.
Let me appreciate the presence of our past Presidents and pay glowing tributes to them. I am indebted to all our stakeholders in our collective drive towards the Chartering of PIN. Words alone cannot quantify my gratitude to our amiable Chairman, PIN Board of Trustees, Chief Alexis N. Ajuebon, FPIN, Managing Director, ANA Industries Ltd Portharcourt, Chairman, PIN Board of Directors, Dr. (Engr.) Innocent Akuvue, FPIN, Chairman/C.E.O of GGI International Nigeria Ltd, Portharcourt, the Group Managing Director, Flour Mills Nigeria, Plc, Mr. Paul Gbededo, FPIN, Prof. H.D Ibrahim, FPIN, the Director-General, RMRDC Abuja, Mr. Taiwo Adeniyi, FPIN, the Group Managing Director, Vitafoam Nigeria Plc Lagos, Prof. Muhammad Yahuza Bello, FPIN, the Vice Chancellor, Bayero University, Kano, Engr. Kunle Ogunade, FPIN, the pioneer President and Prof. B.T Nwufo, FPIN, former President, former Secretary to the Board and presently Secretary to the Board of Trustees, my mentor and boss who is always with me anytime I am on PIN official duties. Prof. Nwufo has been my source of inspiration and motivation.
I pray to God to give him long life, good health and peace for more service to the Polymer Institute of Nigeria and humanity. The individual efforts of our elders, league of fellows and other professional colleagues is highly appreciated. To our versatile founders and veterans of our great Institute, I say thank you for coming to always identify with the hopes and aspirations of our dear Institute. I pray that 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. Let me specially thank the Chairman, LOC, Prof. Gabriel Obafemi Shonaike, my friend and other members of the team for working tirelessly to see to the success of the Conference. We, at Polymer Institute of Nigeria will ever remember these untiring sacrifices and contributions made by all and sundry. Finally, I salute the courage, resilience, commitment, loyalty, and perseverance of our teeming members across Nigeria thereby enabling the sustenance of the ideals, growth and the progress of the Institute.
Thank you and God bless.
Prof. Paul Mamza, FPIN, FICCON, FCSN