Distinguished ladies and gentlemen!
I am delighted to join you at this unique gathering marking the Annual General Meeting of this association. The great philosopher, Socrates once said, it would do our society and the world at large great benefits if all the leaders of the people are philosophers, but I am of the opinion that societal advancement would be sporadic if the leaders and people are scientists and chemists to be precise.
The 20th Century has seen the birth of three ages each with profound social implications. These ages includes; Nuclear Age, Electronic Age and Chemical Age. The latter is the oldest (beginning Ca. 1930) although its impact has been less dramatic than the other two, its consequence have more thoroughly and deeply permeated our day-to-day lives.
Our local grocery, garden and drug stores, hardware carry an impressive array of commonly used chemical “tools”, such as detergents, adhesives, lubricants, fabrics, pesticides, pharmaceutical drugs, vitamins and a multitude of fabricated plastic items.
Industrial applications of chemical tools include explosive, heat transfer gases and liquids, specialized coatings, fire retardants and high performance plastic components.
Distinguished guests, I make bold to say despite the widespread use of chemical tools, many people fear exposure to these materials and have deep concerns regarding the use, storage and disposal of chemicals.
However, we find our desires for more abundance of consumer goods, energy and personal mobility in conflict with maintenance of a healthful environment. Also, environmental degradation, with accompanying threats to health and disruption of ecosystems is no longer a new phenomenon.
From the earliest recorded history, human disturbance of the environment by deforestation, air pollution from cooking and heating fires, and careless sewage and waste disposal have been noted. Today, as global populations grow and per capital energy use and material consumption increases pollution problems, are exacerbated and previously unnoticed secondary effects manifest them.
Nevertheless, in the midst of the aforementioned effects of chemistry to our social lives and environment the roles of chemistry/chemist to societal development cum advancement cannot be over-emphasized.
The weapons of war such as; chemical and biological weapons as well as diverse explosives are made of chemical substances, pesticides, insecticides are all chemical products, pharmaceutical drugs for health related issues are from chemical substances.
Ladies and gentlemen, I wish to inform this organization the need for the chemists to rise and save the world from the looming consequence of climate change which has given birth to global warming of which our country Nigeria is listed among the nations that may face its adverse effects.
Researchers had established that the world mortality rate due to malaria was drastically reduced (over 95%) in the 1950s by widespread application of the insecticides DDT. Because of this chemical’s environmental persistence and toxicity to certain birds and crustaceans, use of DDT was effectively terminated Ca. 1964.
This administration in her strategies for risk minimization and environmental protection is based on realistic hazard thresholds. Market fumigation is carried out constantly, a 33 ton Volvo tipper had been purchased for waste disposal purpose, 1,250 trees had been planted, constant clearing of drainage system among others.
Finally, the advancement of society in all facets of lives such as, social, education, science and technology, human empowerment, economic development, health among others could be achieved via the knowledge of chemistry.
Thanks and God Bless.
Amuwo Odofin and Eko o Oni Baje O!
Comrade Ayodele Adewale
Amuwo Odofin Local Government.