Since 1946 when Nigeria’s first chemistry graduate, the late Professor Stephen Oluwole Awokoya bagged his B.Sc from the University of London, the country has produced generations of chemists for various sectors of the economy. But there was yet no government recognized (chartered) body to regulate the practice of chemists in Nigeria.

The agitation by Nigerian chemists to get chartered can be traced back to the early 1980s. This clamour, which was mainly under the aegis of the Chemical Society of Nigeria (CSN), reached a climax in 1992 when the CSN, under the Presidency of a renowned environmental chemist, Prof. Oladele Osibanjo mandated one of its founding fathers and senior Fellows, Mr. Daniel Alifa Akoh to prepare a position paper to be presented to the Federal Government, outlining the role of chemists in Nigeria’s socio-economic development.

The decade – long campaign finally bore fruit in 1993 when Decree 91 establishing ICCON was signed into law by erstwhile military President, General Ibrahim Babangida. Subsequently, the Institute’s first Governing Council was elected during the Annual International Conference of the CSN in Warri, Delta State in 1995. This pioneer Council was under the Chairmanship of the renowned Professor of analytical and environmental chemistry, Prof. Oladele Osibanjo.

Though established by Decree 91 of 1993 (ICCON Act, CAP I. 12 LFN 2004), ICCON could not take off until 2003 when it’s first substantive Registrar, Mrs Gladys Eke was appointed. This was because the military regime of General Sani Abacha suspended the operations of all Boards / Governing Councils of all Federal parastatals in the country. The first Governing Council that was elected in 1995 was only inaugurated in April, 2001 after the return to civil rule in Nigeria, under the Olusegun Obasanjo regime. The inauguration was performed by the then Minister of Health, Prof. A.B.C Nwosu. Even so, ICCON could not operate until 2003 when a Registrar was appointed.

Sequel to the dissolution of all Boards of Federal parastatals in 2004, ICCON’s second Governing Council headed by Mr. Harry Okolo was inaugurated on September 5, 2006. A 3rd Governing Council, inaugurated on January 29, 2010 by the then Minister of Health, Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin was led by Prof. Abdullahi A. Zuru. This third Council appointed the Institute’s second substantive Registrar, Prince Jay O. Oghifo who assumed office on 2nd August, 2010 following the retirement of Mrs. Eke in 2009. In the interval between Mrs. Eke’s retirement and Prince Oghifo’s appointment, ICCON Secretariat was administered by an Acting Registrar, Ms. Taiwo O. Bammodu.

More recently, on the 6th of February, 2014, a Council-elect came into being via an election conducted by an Extraordinary General Meeting held in Lagos. The Council, the fourth in the Institute’s history, is awaiting inauguration by the Hon. Minister of Health. Meanwhile, the Secretariat is currently being administered once more by an Ag. Registrar, Ms. Taiwo O. Bammodu.

ICCON is now a full-fledged Institute with over 2,400 inducted members from different spheres of chemistry practice, including the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, a renowned chemist who was inducted into the Fellowship of the Institute on the 13th of May, 2008 at a colourful ceremony held at State House, Aso Villa, Abuja.

The Institute’s Corporate Headquarters is currently located at No. 443 Herbert Macaulay Way (old W.H.O Building), Yaba, Lagos. The Secretariat is administered by a Registrar / CEO who oversees a team of professionals (chemists and non-chemists) that constitute the staff.

The Governing Council is the apex decision – making organ of the Institute. The Council is headed by a Chairman who is also the President of the Institute.