The Nigeria Institute of Soil Science (NISS) has said it is ready to clampdown on unqualified and fake soil scientists in the country. The institute said it had reached an advanced stage towards the planned prosecution of unqualified soil scientists.
The Registrar, NISS, Professor Victor Chude, who made this known in Abuja at the induction ceremony of newly registered soil scientists, said the move became necessary following high level of quackery among soil scientists in the country. Chude said the induction of the newly registered soil scientists was to establish the culture of standards.He said the NISS Act 2017 is to regulate the profession of soil science, the use and management of soil resources to maintain high soil quality for sustainable crop production.
According to him, soil scientists play the same role as doctors do, and if the soil is not properly treated, it will not support the production of crops and it will not allow it produce good yield.
“With the induction of the soil scientists, there is going to be awareness created for people to know how we operate. We are going to have an amendment to the Act as soil is a vital and non-renewable component of the ecosystem,” he said. However, President of NISS and chairman of the Council, Professor Ayo Ogunkunle, said the negative impact of charlatans among soil scientists could affect millions of people for several years before detection.
Prof Ogunkunle, who noted that the importance of the regulation of the standards qualification and skills of soil scientists could not be over-emphasised, said the soil resources of the nation must not be neglected or allowed to degrade.While noting that the detailed survey and mapping of Nigeria’s soil resources are overdue, he the solicited support from the government in view of its importance.
He said: “Agricultural soil is the real wealth of a nation as it is basic to human existence, essential for food, feeds, fibres and fuel production. “A crucial requirement for appropriate use and management of the soil resources of a nation is a good knowledge of the various soil components and characteristics. This is not possible without a detailed soil survey of the country,” he said.