The Nigeria Institute of Soil Science (NISS) has inducted no fewer than 114 soil scientists, the Registrar of the Institute, Dr Victor Chude has said.
Chude, at the ceremony held via zoom on Tuesday, said that the induction, which brought the total number of inductees to 264, was the second since the inception of the institute in 2017.
He said that the inductees are registered and licensed soil scientists mandated to advise farmers across the country on sustainable management of soil resources.
Describing the induction as a giant stride, he emphasised that the effort would ensure increased food productivity and curb the menace of quackery in the soil science profession.
He, however, charged the inductees to abide by the Code of Conduct of the institute aimed at assisting soil scientists to execute their professional obligations.
Chude urged them to have proper regard to the safety, health, environment and welfare of the public as well as the management of soil resources in the performance of professional duties.
He emphasised that every soil scientist should at all times demonstrate due professional competence.
“The provision of the code of conduct is that a registered soil scientist shall collaborate with other soil scientists to enhance the profession, promoting harmony and solidarity by enhancing and streaming information.
“Endeavour to offer the best services to clients and employers, the foster cordial relationship among colleagues and support them both collectively and individually against unjust professional treatment,” he said.
According to him, soil scientists must not bring the institute to disrepute by engaging in illegal business or cooperating with those so involved in sharp practices.
“Refrain from colluding with or allowing his or her name to be used by individuals and organisations of dubious character.
“They should also express professional opinion on issues related to soil science and indicate the adverse consequences to be expected if the sound scientific judgment is not followed.’’
“Members shall report to NISS any person, organisations or enterprises involved in soil science activities without the supervision of registered soil scientists among others,” Chude noted.
The registrar who noted that NISS has the mandate to establish, update and maintain a register of soil science practitioners according to their various ranks described professionalism as crucial to sustainable development.
According to him, professionalism deals with or emphasises the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterise or mark a profession.
“The profession is a calling requiring specialised knowledge and often long and intensive academic and technical training.
“This is why it is required that everyone, including those of us who qualified more than four decades ago be certified by a professional body that like NISS to practice.
“In addition, refresher training is part of the mandate of NISS to enable members to acquire the latest technological developments in their areas of specialisation.
“This way, quacks will be reduced to the barest minimum,” he said.
Earlier, the Chairman and President of NISS, Governing Council, Prof. Ayoade Ogunkunle, identified the soil resources of a nation as finite and limited within the boundary of the nation.
According to him, if all the soils in the nation are allowed to degrade, the entire nation is doomed. It means poverty and suffering.
“It is therefore very crucial to ensure that farmers and other land users treat, manage and manipulate soils to sustain their utility for generations to come.
“This cannot be achieved without knowledgeable people to guide, correct and train soil/land users,’’ he said.
He noted that part of the mandates of NISS was to regulate the standards of academic qualification and practical skills to be attained by persons seeking to become members, associates, or fellows of the institute.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some of the inductees include, Prof Esu Ejemot, the Deputy Governor of Cross River State and Prof Adekayode Omotayo.
Others are, Dr Umweni Aigboghosa, Dr Emeka Prosper, Prof Dikko Umar, Prof Saddiq Muhammad, Dr Peter Ikemefuna and Dr Obasi Onyedikachi. (NAN)