Even as the nation is struggling to rid itself of the spread of the deadly Ebola Virus disease with the rising cases of the incident, the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu has reiterated that Federal Government is on top of the situation of avoiding the spread of the deadly disease, despite the increasing cases in the nation’s commercial city of Lagos.
The Minister spoke yesterday at the 6th mandatory continuing professional development, MCPD workshop, organized by Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria, ICCON in Abuja
The Minister, who admitted recording few cases of the disease in the country, assured Nigerians that the Federal Ministry of Health, in conjunction with other relevant agencies, is doing everything possible to prevent the spread of the dangerous disease.
‘‘Permit me also to use the liberty of this medium to address an issue that has gradually gained National centre-stage, the out-break of the Ebola Virus Disease, EVD. While admitting that a few cases have been confirmed, I wish to assure all Nigerians that the Federal Ministry of Health, in conjunction with other relevant Agencies, is on top of the situation. The situation is under control and will hopefully remain so,’’ he said.
The issue of Ebola Virus has gradually gained centre-stage in Nigeria since the out-break of the Virus disease last week in Lagos that claimed the live of a Liberian Citizen, Mr. Patrick Sawyer and one of the nurses that attended to him in the Lagos hospital with ongoing treatment of the doctor.
On the event, the Minister described the theme of the workshop: “Nigeria’s Industrial and Economic Boom: Impact of Local Raw Materials,” is a direct response to the realities of the day and particularly timely, coming at a time when the country is in dire need of economic diversification
He charged the Institute to go into synergy with relevant organizations like Small & Medium-Scale Enterprises Development Agency, SMEDAN, Bank of Industry, BoI etc, with a view to providing a platform through which Nigerian chemists, after attending programmes such as this, will have the wherewithal to set up cottage industries.
According to him, this will serve as a further boost to the government’s quest for economic empowerment of our people through the exploitation of the non-oil sectors of the economy.
He also enjoined ICCON members to explore avenues of interaction with prospective investors in the chemical sector, saying that economic impact of chemists on the larger society will enhance their visibility on the national scene. This is a priority area for the Institute.
“Our economy is largely a mono-product economy, with over-reliance on revenue derived from crude oil. Hence, any genuine effort to explore other sources of income for our dear country is a welcome development.
‘‘The ease and speed with which knowledge and its products change today makes it imperative that all professionals continuously refresh or update their knowledge, if they are to remain relevant in an ever-dynamic global economy. Knowledge is the power that aids the transformation of society for Man’s benefit.
‘‘ICCON should, therefore, sustain this annual forum and even create other platforms geared towards providing opportunity for its members to stay on top of their specialties at all times,’’ said the Minister.
He emphasized the need for ICCON to go a step further in the quest for economic empowerment for chemists in particular and all Nigerians in general.
He however, assured the institute that the Ministry would continue to support it in all areas of need to enable the Institute actualizes the mandates for which it was established.
‘‘We are not ignorant of programmes organized by the Institute in the recent past, and we hope the tempo will be sustained towards impacting positively on the larger society.
‘‘I have no doubt that the knowledge you will acquire in the course of this programme will further enhance your perception of employment generation through our local content, and via the application of chemical knowledge,’’ he added.
Earlier in his remarks, the Ag. Registrar and CEO of the institute, T. O Mammodu  said the ultimate aim of the training is to unveil chemists as entrepreneurs capable of becoming major players in the nation’s socio-economic terrain, by means of utilizing knowledge made available from Chemistry.
He said the organization of MCPD Workshops is one of the fundamental components of ICCON statutory mandate.
Apart from being one of the conditions for ICCON members to sustain membership of the Institute, he explained that such workshops serve to impart knowledge and skills to the chemist enroute wealth creation and, hence, self-reliance.

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