Nigerian GM Crops Evidence Of Innovative Research, Science – Onu

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The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu.
The former Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu.

The former Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has described the outcome of years of research invested in the development of two genetically modified (GM) crops in Nigeria – PBR Cowpea and Bt Cotton as evidence that science works.

Delivering the keynote speech ‘Catalysing National Economic Recovery in post-COVID-19 Era through Innovative Research’ at the 2nd Faculty of Science National Conference on Innovative Science at the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) University, Bida, Niger State, Onu who was represented by Dr. Andrew Iloh, said no nation in the world can develop her economy without science.

Citing the developments in the biotechnology sector, he said the commercialisation of both GM crops in the Nigerian Market is a typical example of how science could be applied to meet the everyday needs of humans. He, therefore, called on the participants to engage in innovative research that will contribute to national development.

The country director, OFAB Nigeria, Dr. Rose Gidado, who presented the paper ‘Commercialisation of Agricultural Biotech Research Outputs; a Panacea to National Economic Recovery,’ said biotechnology crops will continue to be important in meeting the 50 per cent increase in food demand by 2050 and can also help address challenges such as population growth, urbanisation and ageing, climate change, agricultural productivity and innovation, transboundary pests and diseases, nutrition and health and food losses. She was represented by the OFAB Nigeria program assistant, Mr. Abraham Isah.

On his part, the vice chancellor of IBBU, Prof. Abu Kasim Adamu stated that Nigeria has all it takes to apply scientific tools in meeting human needs. Innovative technology, according to him, can catalyse the mitigation of economic hardship in the post-COVID-19 era.

Other participants in the conference include a professor of mechanical engineering, Federal University of Technology Minna, Niger State, Prof Abiodun Musa Aibinu (a plenary speaker); Program director, Set Up Nigeria, Zainab Haruna (a plenary speaker); Dean, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Prof Yahaya Aliyu Badeggi; the president, Biotechnology Society of Nigeria (BSN), Prof MB Yerima (a plenary speaker);  Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics), Prof Hassan; Commissioner for Health, Niger State, Dr Mohammed Makusidi; Commissioner for Tertiary Trust Fund, Prof Baba Aliyu; Coordinating Director of Research, IBBU, Prof. Nuhu Obaje, other lecturers and students.

OFAB Report
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