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Date: 2010-02-02 06:34:49
Chemistry drives inner conviction

                                                - Yar’Adua

The following is a text of the speech given by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua after his formal investiture as a Fellow of ICCON on Tuesday, the 12th of May, 2008 at the Presidential Villa, Aso Rock, Abuja.

Let me start by expressing my sincere gratitude and appreciation to the President, the Fellows and Members of the Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria, for this honour done to me today.Throughout the ceremony, I was actually thinking that I should be sitting with you on the other side (laughter).

I want to assure you that I really miss your comradeship, and I really miss the laboratory! This recognition today has got me feeling profoundly honoured and deeply humbled, coming as it is from my professional colleagues at a time of daunting economic and industrial challenges for our nation. I wish to assure all who are gathered here today, especially my colleague chemists, that I am inspired to be even more committed to applying the productive principles of chemistry to drive the transformation of our nation.

Our administration is irrevocably committed to putting in place the requisite institutional structures through which all available resources would be harnessed to fast-track Nigeria’s growth and development. This nation looks up to its richly endowed human resource base for the actualization of our vision of transforming Nigeria into one of the 20 largest economies by the year 2020.

I would like to use this opportunity to challenge the leadership and the entire membership of the Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria (ICCON) to evolve a curriculum that would make graduates of chemistry more practically and productively focused for the specificities that would propel our socio-economic and industrial growth. In the same breadth, I challenge all our scientists and engineers to be in the forefront of actualizing our local content policy, particularly in the petrochemical sector.

The Governing Council of ICCON deserves special commendation for the way they have prosecuted their mandates with consummate dedication and uncommon sense of duty. It is my conviction that with proper support from the supervising Ministry and effective partnership with the private sector, ICCON will grow to its full potentials in the shortest possible time.

While thanking members of the Institute for the honour done me today, I assure you all that I will strive to continue to justify your trust and confidence.

Just before I conclude, like you all know, chemistry is governed by the laws of nature; that is why the universe is so ordered. That makes it inevitable that, for Nigeria to be so structured and ordered to realize its potentials, we must have respect for the rule of law.

I assure you that in bringing my experience and my training to bear on my conduct in the discharge of my responsibilities in office, the discipline of chemistry really drives my inner conviction and inspiration.

I also want to assure you that I feel extremely proud and fulfilled to have studied chemistry. If there is one thing which I miss most throughout my life, it is the laboratory! And if there is a group of people or professionals who I truly envy today, it is you (chemists) who are in tune with nature and creation, in search of truth and in concert with truth in all you do, living your life in a discipline (chemistry) that gives no room for deception or insincerity.   

I want to thank you very much once again for this great honour you have done to me, and I assure you that I will cherish this moment throughout my life!

Thank you and God bless you.    

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