From By Abdullahi Alhassan, Kaduna
Kaduna State Governor Mallam Uba Sani has said that polymer materials have become an integral part of our daily lives, from the plastic packaging that safeguards our food to the lightweight materials that make modern vehicles more fuel-efficient.
However, he explained that we must acknowledge the environmental concerns associated with the production, use, and disposal of polymers.
Sani was speaking at the Annual Technical Conference, AGM, and 5th International Conference Kaduna 2023, themed “Future of Polymeric Materials: Trends and Sustainability,” held at Kaduna State University.
Represented by the Vice Chancellor of Kaduna State University, KASU, Professor Abdullahi Musa, Sani maintained that as we ponder the future of polymer materials, we should also remember that technology and innovation alone will not suffice.
“It is our collective responsibility to adopt sustainable practices, advocate for change, and work together as a global community to ensure a better future for generations to come,” he said.
Sani added that the Polymer Institute of Nigeria has a vital role to play in this journey. By fostering collaboration, facilitating research, and promoting the responsible use of polymer materials, the institute can be the driving force behind the positive changes we seek.
In his welcome address, President of the Polymer Institute of Nigeria, Professor Emmanuel Osabohien, acknowledged some of the challenges associated with the polymer business in Nigeria, mainly due to technical, mechanical, and economic constraints.
He expressed optimism in a brighter future if younger generations of scientists and technologists were inculcated with advanced technology and expertise adequately by veterans in the field so they could take over from the older crops for sustainability.
Osabohien disclosed that the institute has led and spearheaded a number of research around cutting-edge technology, which has given birth to innovation and modern ideas of polymer and associated materials since its inception in 1991.
While drawing the attention of stakeholders in the industry to the environmental hazards posed by the irresponsible usage of polymeric materials, the scientist enjoined the conference attendees to be advocates of decent and eco-friendly production and consumption of polymer materials.
Chairman of the occasion, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Professor H.D. Ibrahim, urged stakeholders to explore the latest trends in polymer research and development. This, according to him, would keep them afloat and ahead of their peers in other climes.
While calling for commitment to sustainability, Ibrahim charged researchers and manufacturers of polymeric materials to ensure that products shunned out to the consumers align with the Sustainable Development Goals.
He encouraged participants to take full advantage of the unique opportunity of interfacing with experts from across the globe to share meaningful insights and foster collaborations that would foster a prosperous future for polymeric materials.
Ibrahim revealed that the institute, under his administration, had initiated a competition among polymer researchers in the country where the best three researchers were given awards to encourage innovation and ingenuity.
Also speaking, the Technical Director and General Manager of Hassan Plastics Industries Limited, Chief Alexander Ommen, who delivered a keynote address at the occasion, drew the attention of participants to the challenges in the polymer industries in the global industries.
He urged experts in Nigeria to take advantage of the trend of technological developments in India and other countries in advancing growth in the country’s polymer industry, while supporting his presentation with statistics from other climes.