Chemistry: A Viable Tool for Achieving the SDGs

The 5th ACS Nigeria International Chemical Sciences Chapter Symposium, Sokoto 2020, was held March 1-4, 2020. The event, with the theme “Chemistry: A Viable Tool for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” featured keynote and plenary lectures, award presentations, technical and poster sessions, a cocktail party, and the Annual General Meeting of the chapter. More than 300 local and international participants from academia, student communities, industries, inter-government agencies, and private sector companies attended.
While delivering his welcome address, the Vice-Chancellor of Sokoto State University, Sokoto, Professor Sani Mohammed Dangoggo, strongly urged participants to develop products and processes that will facilitate achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In his keynote lecture, Professor Bashir Garba, the Hon. Commissioner, Ministry for Higher Education, Sokoto State, noted that unless the knowledge and understanding of chemistry are improved, the nation’s hopes for industrialization and technical and sustainable development are likely to remain just that—hopes! He said that because the provision of most goods and services depends largely on effective utilization of chemical products, chemistry should be seen as the nucleus of science on which sustainable development depends. He also highlighted several ways chemists can actively participate in achieving the U.N. SDGs. These remarks were followed by plenary lectures by Dr. R. John Errington, Newcastle University, U.K.; Professor Shettima Abdulkadir Saidu (represented by Professor Aminu Bayawa Muhammad of Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria), Federal University, Gashua, Yobe State, Nigeria; and Dr. Zaynab Muhammad Chellube, University of Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria, on sub-thematic areas related to the SDGs. The areas included catalysis, poverty eradication, national security, industrial development, environment, and empowerment of women.
The plenary lectures ushered in technical and poster sessions where participants from all areas of the chemical sciences had the opportunity to present their research. More than 200 presentations were given in areas such as green and sustainable chemistry; nanoscience and nanotechnology; catalysis; bioresources and renewable energy; chemistry education; inorganic and organic chemistry; natural products, medicinal, and pharmaceutical chemistry; polymers and advanced materials; computational and physical chemistry; waste management and recycling; analytical chemistry; food and agrochemistry; petroleum and petrochemicals; and environmental chemistry.
The high point of the event was the presentation of the 2020 ACS Nigeria Chapter awards to individuals and corporate bodies, including Sokoto State Water Board, BUA Cement, and Rima Foam for their contributions to the development of the chemical sciences in Sokoto State and the world at large.
Other awardees included: Professor Abdullahi Abdu Zuru, former Vice-Chancellor, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria; Professor Muhammed Kaoje Abubakar, former Hon. Minister of Science and Technology, Federal Republic of Nigeria; Professor Bashir Garba, Hon. Commissioner, Ministry for Higher Education, Sokoto State, Nigeria; Professor Sani Muhammad Dangoggo, Vice-Chancellor, Sokoto State University, Sokoto, Nigeria; Ahmad Modi, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria; Dr. Lami Angela Nnamonu, Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria and Sampson Dominic Umoh, Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria.
Goodwill messages were presented by some dignitaries including representatives of the Executive Governor of Sokoto State, His Excellency, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal (Matawallen Sokoto); His Royal Highness, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alh. Abubakar Muhammad Saad, Vice-Chancellors of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto; Federal University, Gusau; and representative of the Sustainable Development Goals office in Sokoto State, Nigeria.
The symposium, which was held at Sokoto State University, Sokoto, Nigeria, was hosted in collaboration with the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto; Kebbi State University of Science and Technology, Aliero; Federal University Birnin Kebbi; and Federal University, Gusau.

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