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News Published in December 2016

Final Year Students Celebrate

The University campus went agog recently, when final year students could hardly contain their excitement, as they expressed joy for successfully completing their last examinations in the University. While attributing their accomplishments to the grace and mercy of God, the students, however, shared their dreams and aspiration for the future.

According to Elizabeth Ekenechi of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management, College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development (COLAMRUD), “I am extremely happy because today is our signing-out day, that is, it is the day before our last paper and we are here to sign-out before the last paper. I must tell you, it has not been easy but God has been so great and God willing, I am hopeful that I will graduate with a 2.1”. Sharing her dreams for the future, Elizabeth, who confirmed that she was aware that the labour market was highly saturated, said that she was not perturbed by the current situation, adding that, “I am determined to make my mark felt in this country and after working for a few years, then, I can come back for my postgraduate programme”.

Another final year student, Opeyemi Ojediran of the Department of Animal Production and Health, College of Animal Science and Livestock Production (COLANIM), lauded the University for the knowledge and skills instilled in him saying, “FUNAAB has been a learning place for me and I can confidently beat my chest that am a product of this University. It is my dream to go into farming as an independent entrepreneur, but before then and immediately after my National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme, I would like to go for my Master’s degree abroad for more exposure in my field of study.

Oluwaseun Akinyemi of the Department of Entrepreneurial Studies, College of Management Sciences (COLMAS), described her stay in FUNAAB as being filled with both good and bad moments, saying “I am happy to be through with my final paper in FUNAAB and it has been a good experience. We have had happy and sad moments just like the strike period, which led to our extended stay on campus. Personally, I am not going to be seeking employment, but I will be starting my own business because that is what I was taught to do at FUNAAB”.

Sharing his experience in the University, Boluwatife Kudemepo from the Department of Physics, College of Physical Sciences (COLPHYS), said “it has been wonderful all the way. FUNAAB as a University, has been of major influence to my life; morally and academically and am proud to say, I am a graduate of this great University. Although, the recent closure of the University had set us back a little, but I am happy that we have all gotten over it and today, I am done with my examination. I will like to thank God for his kindness and love throughout my four-year programme in this University. I will also like to thank my father for his support; financially and morally and I pray that the Lord, who has led me thus far, will see me through my postgraduate years”.  

For Oluchi Chigere of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management (COLAMRUD), completing her examination was a dream come true and worth celebrating. The excited, final year student disclosed that she had spent six years in the University because she gained admission through the University’s pre-degree programme. According to her, her strength lies in problem-solving abilities and she was equipped with other vocational skills, which she was sure would make her excel in the labour market.

Oluwole Aderibigbe from the Department of Animal Nutrition (COLANIM), had described his stay as ‘memorable’, saying that “now, I am free to face life and enjoy it to the fullest as FUNAAB does not take from you, but it gives you a lot more” while another student from the Department of Entrepreneurial Studies (COLMAS), Oyindamola Adeyinka, said “my stay in the University has been memorable and being a member of the second graduating set of the Department, it is a thing of joy for me”, adding that she planned to go into the fashion business by putting what she was taught into practice.


FUNAAB Elects Council Representatives, Disengaged Staff Resume

In line with the provisions of Chapter F22 (7) g of the establishment Act, the University has elected two Congregation representatives on Council, Those elected are: Professor Adesina Agboola of the Department of Mathematics, College of Physical Sciences (COLPHYS) and Architect Babatunde Anasanwo of the Physical Planning Directorate. However, the three Congregation representatives on the Senate were returned elected, namely; Dr. Adebayo Oni of the Department of Animal Nutrition, College of Animal Science and Livestock Production (COLANIM); Dr. Omotola Jayeola of the Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management, College of Environmental Resources Management (COLERM) and Dr. Dominic Odulate of the Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries Management (COLERM).

In another development, 23 members of staff earlier disengaged from the services of the University, have resumed at their duty posts, following their recent recall by the Governing Council, as part of efforts to resolve the recent unrest, due to series of appeals from within and outside the University community. The decision to re-absorb the staff unconditionally, was taken at the 92nd meeting of the Council, held recently and chaired by Mrs. Susan Oludiya, a member of the Council, in line with the agreement that the Chairmanship be rotated, till the reconstitution of a new one.

It would be recalled that the Governing Council, at its 90th statutory meeting, approved the disengagement of some staff from the services of the University for various offences. However, to ensure that the University enjoys permanent respite, a Council Committee to Investigate the Lingering Industrial Unrest and Tension in the University was constituted, to look into the immediate and remote causes of the unrest. The work of the Committee is on-going.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, has enjoined all members of staff to continue to contribute positively to the development of the University, while normal academic and administrative activities continue unabatedly.


Engage in Participatory Research - Professor Apantaku

A Professor of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development (COLAMRUD), Professor Olusegun Apantaku has called on his fellow researchers to embark on truly participatory research and extension services, so that their research findings and recommendations would be acceptable to farmers and other stakeholders. The University Don stated this while disclosing his research findings on farmers’ participatory research and extension services, which have spanned a period of over 20 years.

According to him, researches in Nigeria and Africa in general have not been tailored towards the real needs of the farmers. Rather, the researchers are involved in “Top Down Approach” research, noting that there are many excellent researchers in FUNAAB and in Nigeria but the problem is that many usually come up with research ideas from their tables and they work on them and expect the farmers to adopt their research results. Professor Apantaku described farmers’ participatory research and extension services as the research that actively involves the farmers, right from the conception of ideas to the extension of the outcome, adding that sometimes, the researchers had to stay and live with the farmers for better interaction and understanding of their problems, so as to solve the problems. He likened farmers’ participatory research to American doctor-patient relationship, whereby the doctor would ‘clerk’ and ask the patient questions, and the patient gives a history of his/her health and together, agree the best course of action. They also agree to   run some tests in order to have a clearer picture of what is wrong with the patient and then know what medication to administer, instead of making prescription without the patient’s active input and understanding of the situation.

According to the former Dean of COLAMRUD, a researcher may have a good variety of crops that will have a very good yield, yet the farmer may not like it, since the problem may be in the taste or ease of processing. He noted that some yam hybrids may yield so much, but may not be good for pounding. He further disclosed that an inaugural lecturer disclosed his team once had a very wonderful research result, which was even published in international journals, but when it was disseminated to the farmers, they rejected it. The researchers then came to realise that there were some issues that were not considered, because they did not involve and collaborate with the farmers right from the beginning, as a result of which, the researchers had to step the results down to the level and needs of the farmers.

The University Don further added that there were four key levels of participation by farmers. These  are: contract participation, whereby the farmers were asked to produce some inputs, services or may be, provide lands, farmers role here is passive; consultative participation, where the researcher consults with the farmers to find out the problems that they are facing, a doctor-patient relationship; Collaborative participation is where the researcher collaborates with the farmers as equal partners, they go to the field together, plant together, apply fertilizer together and they study what is going on and monitor the research together; he added that the highest form of Participation is the Collegiate participation, where the researcher has developed and strengthened the farmers’ informal research capacity to some level that the farmer can do some little research on his own, but when they encounter difficulties, they call on the researcher for assistance. He added that this participatory type is found in the United States of America and in some commercial farms in Africa.

Speaking on participatory extension, Professor Apantaku said that after a research breakthrough, the extension worker will want to disseminate the information and technology to farmers. He noted that it is better that the farmers are allowed to own or actively  participate in the extension services, while the researcher or the extension worker stayed in the background, adding that even radio and TV broadcasts should be done by the trained farmers for better result and adoption. He noted that if other farmers hear their fellow farmers talking on radio or watch them on TV, they will believe easily and adopt the result. Speaking further, he said that, the aim of every research is for the outcome of his research to be adopted.

Professor Apantaku lamented that the research grants, which researchers receive from foreign countries and donors do not allow them to conduct researches that are relevant to our farmers’ needs, instead, most of researches were based on the dictates and needs of their sponsors, which make their results unacceptable, the international relevance and quality notwithstanding. The Professor of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, made a clarion call to the government to increase funding of research in the country so that researchers would not be begging international donors for sponsorship, because such researches would have been influenced and tailored to what the sponsors want.

However, he is of the opinion that the victory of the new American President-elect, Donald Trump, was a blessing in disguise, stating that would he block or reduce the level of development funds being pumped into the country in the form of grant. This, he noted had enriched many researchers while their research results remain irrelevant to local needs. The University Don commended FUNAAB research and development programmes, noting that many had been participatory; particularly, the Cassava: Adding Value for Africa

(C:AVA), the organic agriculture, indigenous chicken research, landfill and environmental sanitation, and many others, adding that we can do more in FUNAAB by making all our researches truly participatory.

While expressing his view on extension services, Professor Apantaku suggested that it would be better if the nation develops its own full- blown extension approach, instead of using borrowed models like T&V system (though discarded), which was prescribed by the World Bank, which gave the funds and dictated how the country should practice its extension services. He recommended that states and or the country should develop their unique extension approach, such as a mix of approaches/elements like Farmers Field School and Farmer Promoter Approach. He noted that in the Farmers Field School, the research would be conducted by the farmers after the subject-matter specialist would have trained the farmers on some different trials, different plots for trials. For instance, if they want to show that X fertilizer is better than Y or Z fertilizer, the farmers will have various plots for the three trials, so that other farmers will come and learn and see for themselves that the research is being conducted by their fellow farmers, after which they will adopt the result or recommendation easily.

He also described the other approach, Farmer Promoter Approach as where the some select farmer, implement, promote and showcase the best recommendation from FFS. For instance if the Nitrogen Phosphorus Potassium (NPK) is found to be better than Super Sulphate fertilizer, the Farmer Promoter Approach will promote it and other farmers will come and see the results on the FP’s farm for themselves. He noted that a combination of these two approaches of extension was adopted in Rwanda, where it is called Twigire Muhinzi (meaning our own has worked for us) in their local dialect. This has led to an increase of about 40 percent in food production in Rwanda, saying Nigeria should develop its own approach too.

Prof. Apantaku also observed that the present government had been preaching on going back to agriculture, noting that agricultural productivity cannot increase, since it is basically carried out in the neglected underdeveloped rural areas. He added that without developing the rural areas, by providing the basic infrastructures like electricity, good road network, good water and communication, young people would not leave the urban areas to live in rural areas where they can practice agriculture. According to him, if these infrastructural facilities were put in place with small loans from the government, the young ones would want to stay in the rural areas and practice agriculture. He recalled that during the time of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, agriculture was the country’s main-stay because the road networks and rural infrastructures were in place.

Professor Apantaku, who is currently the National Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (NIFAAS), recommended that for improved agriculture and food security, rural areas must be well developed with necessary infrastructure in place, and provided with the enabling environment. For better practice of participatory research and extension, researchers and extension workers should be well trained, there should be research leave for University researchers for about 52 days, while more researchers should be sponsored to attend workshops and conferences, so that they can learn more from other people, adding that an academic is a scholar and must continue to learn. According to him, rural extension workers and researchers should be provided with rugged vehicles to be able to operate and move effectively and unhindered.

Professor Apantaku also disclosed that apart from agricultural extension and rural development, he is interested in urban agriculture and animal nutrition; as he was also collaborating with some researchers from other departments to develop cheaper feeds made partly, from cassava leaf, to be used for poultry production. The University Don is also interested in snail rearing and backyard farming. He further called on young  researchers, to make themselves available for mentorship by older Professors, adding that researchers should not hesitate to spend their money to train and develop themselves, instead of waiting until when the government would sponsor them. He noted that some lecturers create a wide gap between them and their students as a result of which the students are afraid of them, while pleading that they needed to change their attitude towards their students and make themselves approachable, in order for the students to enjoy a smooth learning relationship.


Alumni Provide Shuttle Services on Campus

Alumni of the University, under the aegis of the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta Alumni Association (FUNAABASS), recently flagged-off an intra-campus shuttle bus service to enhance the welfare of community members. While welcoming the Vice-Chancellor to the official commissioning of the buses, the National President of FUNAABASS, who is also a member of the University Governing Council, Mr. Olusola Tobun, said that the idea was conceived from the interaction with students in the various colleges and the imperative of responding to their needs.
He added that members of the alumni association were not particularly after the profit that would come from the venture and hence, the reason behind the low and affordable transport fare of N20 per drop, being charged commuters. He also said that it was a way of giving back to the system by making life easier and better for the students. Mr. Tobun disclosed that a committee, headed by Professor Jonathan Atungwu, Head, Department of Crop Protection, College of Plant Science and Crop Production (COLPLANT), had been set up to manage the operations and maintenance of the buses, saying that more of such vehicles were on the way to increase the fleet.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Development, Professor Ololade Enikuomehin, said that the gesture marked a landmark in the history of FUNAAB, being the first time that the alumni would come up with the initiative that would meet the needs of the community members. He also thanked the Office of Advancement; for effectively maintaining the University's relationship with the Alumni Association.

SOFIIA Scholar Clamours for Better Soil Management

A Ph.D scholar, attached to the Soils of Forest Islands in Africa (SOFIIA) Project in the University, Samuel Mesele, has described improved environmental management and planning, as the major solution to ending erosion, landslide and flooding in the country. Making this call in commemoration of the 2016 World Soil Day, held recently, the young researcher stated that soil was a valuable non-renewable natural resource, whose functions are not only significant to life, but support plant growth and in the provision of ecosystem services.
The SOFIIA scholar said that the soil contains 16 essential nutrients that are vital to both plants and man, adding that the protection of the soil resource was essential, since that formed the basis for why human survival on the earth is hinged. Explaining further, he pointed out that in major fields of human endeavour such as medicine, pharmacology, genetics and engineering, there are always opportunities to produce new and more powerful drugs in the case of medicine, hybrids in the case of genetics or new models in the case of engineering, but in soil science, once the soil is degraded, there are no opportunities to produce new soil or new soil varieties. Hence, the effective management of our soils remains imperative and a responsibility for all.
He reiterated the call of the President, African Soil Science Society (ASSS), Dr. Mamadaou Traore, during the 2016 conference, when he asserted that, “poor soil produces poor people and poor people make the soil worst”. Samuel stated that the implication of the statement meant that when the soil is poor in quality, it gives very low yield that cannot economically sustain the community; thereby putting the people into poverty; and when the people become poor, they lack access and the capacity to improve the soil by leaving the soil in a more deplorable condition making the future bleak for future generations.
To further buttress his point, the researcher stated that soil was central to world’s major challenges such as food insecurity, climate change and human health. “It is in the recognition of this, that 5th of December every year, is set aside as the World Soil Day. Soil health is a key contributor to achieving food security in Nigeria and West Africa at large. Fertile and productive soils, when properly managed, would guarantee healthy, safe and enough food for the present generation, without compromising the food needs of future generations. Soil also contributes significantly to climate change, as the effect could be positive or negative, depending on how the soil is managed”, he said.
Lamenting the effects of inappropriate soil management practices, Samuel said these could lead to increased emission of greenhouse gases that are responsible for global warming. He highlighted practices that could affect the soil negatively, to include inappropriate disposal of spent engine oil, old cell batteries from radio or torch-lights, household wastes like aluminum pots, table water sachet and plastics. He called for an attitudinal change, stressing that every action taken by man could impact positively or negatively on soil health, as well as the underground water resources. He disclosed that mitigating the impact of climate change was the responsibility of all and required the sustainable management of soil resource and health even as he gave this charge saying “Watch your actions! Keep the soil safe and healthy! Preserve the prosperity of the generation yet unborn”.

FUNAAB Hosts NMetS Conference, Discusses Climate Change

The University, recently played host to members of the Nigerian Meteorological Society (NMetS), during the International Conference and 30th Annual General Meeting of the group themed, “Climate Variability and Change: Impact, Science, Innovation and Policy”.

Welcoming participants, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Development, Professor Ololade Enikuomehin, described climate change as the most important environmental challenge confronting humanity in the 21st century. According to him, “Climate change and its resultant environmental challenges of flooding, soil erosion, coastal surges, drought, desertification, pollution, wild fire, heat waves and others, constitute threats to all aspects of life at the local, regional and global levels. The impact of climate change and variability constitute security challenge, especially, in the areas of agriculture and food security, water resources, biodiversity, social economic activities and human security.”

The Vice-Chancellor noted that the consequences of climate change do not recognise political boundary, which informed the concerted efforts at solving the issue at local, national, regional and global levels. He appreciated the global efforts that had been geared towards solving the issue of climate change at different levels and those also channeled towards assisting developing countries to adapt and mitigate the consequences of climate change. He described the theme for the conference as appropriate and timely, and called on the organisers to come up with a communiqué that would inform policy makers in Nigeria on the appropriate strategies of mitigating the consequences of climate change.

In his keynote address, Professor Emmanuel Oladipo of the Department of Geography, University of Lagos, submitted that climate change posed a serious threat to the nation’s sustainable development drive and “unless significant response strategy was put in place and implemented at both global and national levels, it may become a substantive shock to Nigeria’s effort to reduce pervasive poverty, create jobs, enhance people’s access to sustainable energy and improve the overall socio-economic well-being of its citizenry, as enunciated in the objectives of the country’s Vision 20:2020.”

Also, Professor Oladipo advised that Nigeria should put in place, a well-defined climate change response framework that would incorporate critical elements of mitigation, adaptation and technology transfer, which, according to him, should be backed up by adequate financial and capacity building support. He called on the country to take advantage of the current investment opportunities in green technologies to mitigate and adapt enacting policies such as stopping subsidies to intensive farming; stopping deforestation, promoting sustainable logging; improving health services to address the health risks of climate change, provision of effective social safety nets for those affected by climate-related disasters and promoting public-private partnerships in environmental management for a conducive environment for businesses and financial incentives.

The Don opined that in the pursuit of green growth and a resource-saving economy, Nigeria needs to establish a strategy, whose implementation should establish sound legislation, policies, regulation and standardisation framework for green growth and green jobs for the youths; speed up optimisation of the industrial structure, including improvements of energy consumption and use of high quality and alternative energy that promotes the improvement of technological processes and scientific research for energy efficiency and recycling technologies.

Other options include improving energy consumption management, developing appropriate and further improve existing incentive policies and laws to attract investment, developing new tools and mechanism, such as energy efficiency labeling and energy and water conservation product certification to guide and provide sustainable consumption choices and above all, plan for the future, without fossil fuel in a changing climate and degraded environment.

He further stated that the key element of the green growth strategy is the greening of the energy sector, which provides a unique combination of benefits, including enhanced energy security, reduced carbon-dioxide emissions and lower energy costs. Adding that, if focus was placed on renewable energy use, the benefits would include, among others, little or no global warming emissions, improved public health and environmental quality, vast and inexhaustible energy supply, jobs and other economic benefits, stable energy prices and a more reliable and resilient energy system.

The President of NMetS, Professor Clement Akoshile, had stated that meteorological forecasts could have proved to mitigate significantly, the factors of extreme weathers being experienced in different parts of the world. He said that NMetS international conference holds once a year, where research and technical findings are reported and discussed. He added that contributions from the conference had helped in no small way to improve the quality and safety of life in Nigeria, and he also said that the society had worked hand-in-hand with the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), especially in the area of weather forecasting.

Professor Jonathan Bello from the Department of Water Resources Management and Agrometeorology in the College of Environmental Resources Management (COLERM), thanked all participants that had come from all part of the country and appreciated FUNAAB’s Management and its sister institution, the Federal College of Education, Osiele, Abeokuta, for the support towards the successful hosting of the conference.

Governing Council to Re-absorb Sacked Workers, Resolve Lingering Crises

In a bid to ensure lasting peace in the University, the Governing Council, is set to re-absorb the 23 sacked members of staff of the University. This decision was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the 91st Meeting of the Governing Council, held recently, at the National Universities Commission (NUC), Abuja. The communiqué was signed by the Acting Registrar and Secretary to Council, Mr. Obafemi Oginni.

Owing to series of appeals from within and outside the University community, the Council communiqué directed that the twenty-three (23) staff, whose appointments were recently terminated, should, within 48 hours, each forward a Letter of Appeal to the Secretary, Council Committee on Investigation of the Lingering Industrial Unrest and Tension, Acting Registrar’s Office, between Friday, December 16 and Monday, December 19, 2016.

Resolutions reached at the meeting, also include the constitution of the Council Committee to Investigate the Lingering Industrial Unrest and Tension in the University with the following Terms of Reference: to receive appeals from aggrieved members of staff; to investigate and identify the remote and immediate causes of the unrest and tension, as well as identify the institutional and structural factors responsible for the unrest.

Others are: to identify any other predisposing factor to the unrest; to recommend immediate measures for rectifying the current situation; to recommend lasting measures and strategies for conflict-resolution in the University; to make any other recommendations, which may be germane to the maintenance of order and good governance in the University; to ascertain the culpability of persons and groups in the crisis and to propose appropriate sanctions and deterrence for such persons and groups so identified.
The Governing Council also directed all other staff on industrial action to resume at their duty posts immediately in the best interest of the University and ensure that they do not engage in any conduct that could constitute any breach of peace and good governance in the University; while it enjoins all parties to withdraw all civil cases in the courts to allow the Council Committee to function properly.

The Council acknowledged that normal academic and administrative activities are on-going in the University and urges staff to continue to positively contribute towards restoring peace and normalcy in the University, while affirming that Professor Olusola Oyewole, remains the Vice-Chancellor of the University.

Former CENHURD Staff Send-Forth Pioneer Director

The pioneer staff of the Centre for Human Resources Development (CENHURD), now the Institute for Human Resources Development (INHURD), recently organised a send-forth for Professor ‘Segun Lagoke, a former Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Development and Pioneer Director of CENHURD, who just retired from the services of the University.

    At this memorable and colorful event, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, Professor Oluyemisi Eromosele, described Professor Lagoke as a man of integrity, who was hardworking, full of humility, had touched many lives positively, adding that there was no way one could work with Professor Lagoke without him impacting knowledge on the person. She added that he always encouraged staff to love what they were doing at their various posts without dissimulation.

    Speaking earlier, Professor Dupe Akintobi of the College of Plant Science and Crop Production (COLPLANT), had described Professor Lagoke as a man with a big heart, a father indeed to staff, through whom, many staff were employed in the University. Also, showers of encomiums from different staff were showered on the celebrant. While speaking, Mrs. Olufunmilayo Adeniran of the College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development (COLAMRUD), said that Professor Lagoke was a mentor to all, someone who was always there for all staff to solve both personal and official problems. In addition, Mrs. Bukola Folorunso of the College of Environmental Resources Management (COLERM), said that, Professor Lagoke showed the entire staff that they were of one family.  Likewise, Mr. Atte John of the Agricultural Media Resources and Extension Centre (AMREC), added that he learnt three qualities from Professor Lagoke, which had become part and parcel of him and they are; integrity, hardwork and humility.

    Mrs. Blessing Ewuoso of the College of Physical Sciences (COLPHYS), a former Secretary to the Don, further buttressed the fact that to many, Professor Lagoke was a seasoned lecturer, researcher and an administrator par excellence, while to her, and CENHURD staff, he remained a loving father, a fantastic bridge-builder, a compassionate boss and a superb colleague.

Safety Comes First - Food Experts

Food scientists and researchers have stressed the need for the country to look beyond food production and embrace safety. This call was made during the  ‘International Conference of Food Science and Human Ecology (ICOFHEC)’, as well as the ‘Safety Enhancement of Edible Products, Legislation, Analysis and Management (SELAMAT) Workshop’, held in the University.

    Speaking at the occasion, the Chairperson, Local Organising Committee, Professor Folake Henshaw, stated that the conference was organised to create a platform in the Sub-saharan Africa, where participants can exchange ideas and share knowledge on proven strategies that would catalyse actions and policies for improved food, nutrition, security, health and the total well-being of man. According to her, the adoption of the world agenda on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (2016 - 2030), had given a roadmap for individual nations to follow in the next 15 years and to collectively work towards the reduction of over-exploitation of earth’s resources and promote wise utilisation and replenishment, in tandem with the principles of sustainability.

    Expressing her conviction on the benefits that the conference was set to achieve, she disclosed that “it is gratifying to have here today a congregation of experts, scientists and professionals in all the key areas of focus, food, nutrition, health, gender, family livelihood and sustainable food production and systems, who I believe, by their interactions and knowledge-sharing, would proffer strategies for sustainable innovations”.

    Charging scientists and experts in all fields of endeavour to continue to target solving problems and proffering solutions to have local impacts, Professor Henshaw, who is the immediate past Dean, College of Food Science and Human Ecology (COLFHEC) in the University, stated that if not speedily addressed, local problems could lead to global challenges. Meanwhile, the incumbent Dean of COLFHEC, Professor Lateef Sanni, stated that the conference was to establish an international linkage, such that it would hold once in three years, to brainstorm, share experiences and show the way for safer and better quality of food for the nation.

    Lauding ICOFHEC’s initiative, the Coordinator, ‘Safety Enhancement of Edible Products, Legislation, Analysis and Management (SELAMAT) 2016’, Dr. Hans Marvin, noted that SELAMAT was put in place in 2004 and funded through the European Union, by establishing a network with the specific aim that it would become sustainable after four years. He highlighted the objectives of SELAMAT to include bringing together stakeholders (academia, government, regulators and industry) from Europe and Asia in a network to share knowledge, expertise, methodology, best practices and policy developments related to food production.

    Dr. Marvin noted that the essence of the network was to promote food safety, quality and associated issues such as food security, climate change and new technological developments, which could lead to scientific partnerships involving Asian food industries in a concerted effort towards assured, safer and more sustainable production systems.

    The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Development, Professor Ololade Enikuomehin, noted that the theme for the conference, “Delivering Innovative Approaches in Food, Health and Well-being for Sustainable Livelihood” was apt, particularly, at a time like this, when there was an increasing demand for safe food and energy by the teeming populace, as he charged the participants to employ their transnational and collective efforts in overcoming the challenge.

    The President, Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST), Dr. Dahiru Adamu, emphasised the importance of food safety, which he said, involved proper handling, storing and preparation to prevent infections and food contaminants, such as Salmonella and Listeria microorganisms, adding that the side effects of food contamination could be devastating and worsened by low level of knowledge, poverty and greed among the people. Dr. Adamu further advised the government to increase and sustain its efforts at creating the enabling environment as well as engender articulated, focused and practicable policy direction, in conjunction with major food value chain stakeholders such as the NIFST, to drive innovation and self-reliance in food production.

    He also encouraged the government to intensify and sustain its current fight against corruption, especially, in the agricultural and food sector, in order to enhance innovations and ensure food security in Nigeria; stressed the need for government to put in place, clear performance measurement standards to appraise government policy outcomes especially in the agricultural and food sector; and ensure  high level foundry and technological input to guaranty sustainable upgrading of Nigeria’s local food products into the global market.

    Other recommendations include the necessity for the 36 states of the federation to be encouraged by the Federal Government to be engaged in modern and robust agricultural system to ensure sustainable increased productivity; call for institutional reforms to streamline the roles of different agencies involved in food safety; the existence of quality policies to ensure effective monitoring and evaluation of foods by relevant agencies of the government; and the need for food safety policies to be given top priority in Nigeria as is being practiced in other developed nations.

    Commending the organisers of the conference, the Economic and Trade Adviser, Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands, Mrs. Sonia Odije-Fajusigbe, noted that the conference was  coming at a time when agriculture was being considered as the green alternative to diversify the Nigerian economy and promote food security, as she quoted the Director-General, World Health Organisation, who stated that, “government needs to give food safety much attention as they devote to quality and safety of pharmaceutical products; as not everyone needs to take medicine every day but all people need food, each and every day”.

    Mrs. Odije-Fajusigbe who also pointed out that food was a basic necessity of life, added that as it is not only a biological need but also a global socio-economic and political commodity; therefore, ensuring food safety is a critical and fundamental component of public health, food security and development. Explaining further, she said that food safety was intricately linked to sustainable development, especially, in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aims to end hunger, achieve food security, improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. These goals, she noted, recognises the inter-linkages with supporting sustainable agriculture, empowering small-holder farmers, food and nutrition, security, climate change, public health and well-being, gender equality and other issues addressed within the set of 17 SDGs and the post-agenda of the SDGs.               

The Economic and Trade Adviser stated that food safety featured prominently to guaranty and promote health and the wellbeing of the general public, hence, the responsibility lies on everyone, from producers to consumers, to ensure that the food consumed do not cause diseases. She noted that the success of the Dutch agribusiness model was built on the concept of the ‘golden triangle’ in which private companies, knowledge organisations and the government play active and interactive roles in innovation, research and development and, therefore, assured of the willingness of The Netherlands to collaborate with Nigeria in the areas of food production, safety and security.

    Mrs. Odije-Fajusigbe further revealed that The Netherlands remained one of the top agricultural producers in the world as well as the 2ndlargest exporters of agri-foods due to its smart solutions, highly developed food safety standards and integrated approach to problem-solving. “The Dutch agri-food sector is one of the main drivers of the Dutch economy and for decades, the Dutch agricultural sector has succeeded in maintaining its lead over international competitors through continual investment in innovation in agri-food value chains”. Other, presentations made at the plenary session of the conference include: ‘Food and Nutrition in Africa, Present Situation and Concerns’; ‘Innovative Approaches in Public Health and Well-being’; ‘Emerging Issues in Right of Right of Child, Gender and family Livelihood’; and ‘Impact of Climate Change on Food Safety’.

Research Should Meet Societal Expectations - Professor Showemimo

A Professor of Plant Breeding in the College of Plant Science and Crop Production (COLPLANT), Professor Francis Showemimo, has added his voice to the growing call that  research conducted in the country should be geared towards meeting societal aspirations, saying “we have done a lot of research in this country.  What we need to do is to patent them, commercialise and mass produce them. Research should be done to meet the needs of the people and provide solution to problems”.

    Professor Showemimo said one of the ways to make this a reality, is for the government to stop paying lip service to research and decentralise its mode of operations, particularly, when it comes to implementing the policies on agriculture, to ensure food security in the land. “I would say that decentralise the centre, empower all the federating units and make them powerful enough to cater for what they can achieve through crop production.  If government can do that, research will go a long way to solving our myriads of challenges”, he added.

    Professor  Showemimo, who is also, the Director, Institute for Human Resources Development (INHURD), said he believed that with the right atmosphere and funding, the various product lines that FUNAAB produces were enough to financially sustain the University.  “The product line that we have is enough to generate enough money for FUNAAB.  Garri alone can sustain FUNAAB if we know how to reach the people such that they would come and queue up to buy. This is possible, not to talk of palm-wine, palm-oil, honey and cashew nut.  The name, FUNAAB, would sell such products because people know they were scientifically produced with a lot of quality assurance”, he stated.

    Professor Showemimo, who is a Rice Breeder, said the Ofada Rice varieties FUNAABO I and II were approved for release by the National Variety Release Committee in 2011, after passing through due process and the requirements of the national committee. Professor Showemimo also added that the Ofada FUNAABO I is also known as Ofada White, while Ofada FUNAABO 2 is called Ofada Gold. According to the University don, the Ofada White has pure white grain or seed colour and it is tastier  than Ofada Gold, which is more nutritious than the Ofada White. He revealed that Ofada Rice was currently being produced and exported by a company in the country, adding that majority of the Ofada Rice in circulation was a complete mixture.  He advised diabetic patients to eat the improved variety of Ofada Rice, to reduce the level of sugar and increase antioxidant vitamins in their system.

    The Professor of Plant Breeding in the College of Plant Science and Crop Production (COLPLANT) of the University, said he supported the Federal Government’s initiative to stop rice importation but noted that the process had to be gradual. “It is possible to stop rice importation, but not in 2017.  Maybe 2017 should be the first phase of 50 per cent reduction in importation, then 80 per cent by 2018 and by 2020, the total phasing-out could be carried out.  Before we can stop importation, we must have enough rice we can consume and export. But, if we do not have enough rice to consume and possibly export, it will be difficult to stop importation”.

    On how to increase rice production, the Don said government should resuscitate farm settlements, empower interested agriculturally inclined-youths and create conducive atmosphere for states to grow crops that they have comparative advantage over others. “States like Niger, Kebbi, Ebonyi, Anambra and Ogun have fertile lands to grow rice in large quantities.  I believe that it is the best way the government can go and they cannot just start it at the centre.  It must be at the states.  Each state must know the crops they can produce in large quantities.  Benue, Plateau and Nasarawa States, are good for tuber crops like yam, cocoyam, sweet and Irish potato, while, Ebonyi, Anambra, Imo, Edo, Delta, Rivers States can produce all palm products in large quantities. Jigawa, Kano, Kaduna, Katsina can produce pepper, tomatoes, onions. These states can go into massive production and export to states that do not have such privileges. There is need for conscious effort and monitoring to kill the taste for foreign rice.  No matter how bad our rice is, we will continue to improve till we get there”, he further stated.

Mathematics is Everything - Professsor Adeniran

A Professor of Mathematics in the College of Physical Sciences (COLPHYS), Professor Olusola Adeniran, has emphasised that there is more to get from Mathematics, than teaching and learning, stating that globally, mathematicians remained the highest paid professionals because their works are generally applicable in the laboratories, military intelligence, weather prediction, earth movements, among others.

    Professor Adeniran, whose research is focused on non-associative algebraic structures; “Theory of Loops”, disclosed that this area of specialisation was very essential in the transmission of information that require encryption (encoding) and decryption (decoding), in order to avoid any third party from accessing the content of a message without prior approval.

    The Professor of Mathematics, also disclosed some of his major breakthroughs in solving classical problems in mathematics, saying “classical problems or catalogued problems have been identified as problems mathematicians have tried to solve over the years and could not make a head-way. These problems are then thrown open for anyone in the mathematics world to solve”. He said he had made significant contributions to the “construction of a finite simple Bol loop”, being the outcome of his research work, while trying to provide insight into solving a classical problem. The Don noted that once a mathematician has been found to have contributed to solving a classical problem, he/she is considered to have made meaningful impact globally, explaining that some of the classical problems were as old as 40 years old and still had not been solved, based on the available information and literature on what others had done.
    Another breakthrough in his research of a classical problem, is in determining the universality of Osborn loops, whereby he was able to discover that not all Osborn loops were universal. He explained further that if a loop and its isotope were isomorphic, then that loop is universal and the discovery of this phenomenon would serve as the solution to a worldwide problem.

    Speaking on the importance of his work on Loop Theory, to real world application such as military science and information security, he said that mathematicians develop keys or mappings, that are used to encrypt and decrypt information, such that in the military, vital and important messages are encrypted so that only the intended recipient will be able to decrypt them with a key.

    Going back to memory lane, he recalled that during the Gulf War, a mathematician called R. P. Burn, was invited to use some identities of Bol-Molfang type, to help them encrypt information being transmitted. He added that other mathematicians involved in numerical analysis also assisted during the war through the analysis of projectiles, as they used collocation methods alongside the knowledge of the target location and point of projection, to define a proper path, angle and motion for their missiles to navigate. The Professor of Mathematics listed some major careers available in the profession, saying that Americans often employ mathematicians into the research units of the US Army, laboratories and military intelligence, as well as in weather prediction, software codes development and earth movement monitoring, with a small number in the academic sector and that hardly will any mathematician in a developed country be jobless. He noted that in Nigeria, majority of the existing mathematicians are found in the academic sector teaching, while a few work with bodies such as the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, as he lamented that Nigeria was still yet to utilise the full potentials of mathematicians in solving the problems of the country, but rather, continue to rely on foreign hands at the expense of indigenous intelligence.

    According to the Don, his motivation to venture into this research area came to him as an undergraduate student at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, where he preferred doing things differently, saying that, “I don’t usually like to join the crowd to do things; I usually pick-up anything to read, once I get tired of my normal books in the library. I picked up the university handbook on one of such days and decided to read up the research areas of some of my lecturers in my Department and found that one, who later became my supervisor, was working on the “Theory of Loops”. I then decided to read relevant books that talked about loops, and realised that they are similar to what we were familiar with at the undergraduate level was about groups (as loops are the generalisation of groups).

    So, I decided that for my undergraduate project, I will not join others to work on “groups”, but my project would be on the “Theory of Loop”. Even though, the HoD at the time wanted me to be his project students, because I was one of the best in my class, I was determined to work on the theory of loops and so, I was handed over to the only lecturer who specialised in loops. He assisted me with books for the project and it was a great experience. Also, I was lucky that the school had a culture of retaining bright students and I was among the three that were employed in the Department at the completion of our undergraduate studies and I was also the first of the three to become a Professor of Mathematics.”

    Professor Adeniran explained further that the Loop Theory is considered in two ways, such as the geometric structure (which deals with shapes), as well as the algebraic structure. He cited an example from one of his recent visits to the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, where students were made to think and come up with innovative projects every year, which do not necessarily have to be in their line of research and these projects would in turn, be assessed. The effect of such is that these students use their knowledge of loops to come up with different unconventional shapes that are used to design buildings in the institution, adding that a polytechnic or university should encourage its students, irrespective of their discipline, to use their ingenuity to come up with designs and projects for assessment. “At the Obafemi Awolowo University, some of the the first sets of buildings put in place were the faculties of law, education, civil engineering and the administrative office, which were all inverted pyramids and designed by architecture students from the University of Rome. These are aspects where the study of loops is very applicable, especially in architecture when dealing with shapes. This is equally applicable in the building sciences, as well as in engineering, statistics and nuclear science (quantum mechanics)”, he added.

    Professor Adeniran, however, observed that lack of useful research materials and updated journals in the library had been discouraging and a source of challenge to research, unlike what was obtainable during his days as an undergraduate, when he had to come up with algorithms manually, by writing out patterns on large sheets of paper, but he said that nowadays, computers had assisted to overcome that challenge. He also bemoaned the epileptic power supply in the country as a major setback for research.

    He added that in the Department of Mathematics of the University, researchers had always depended largely on external grants as this should not be so. He called on relevant authorities in Nigeria to recognise the usefulness of mathematics. For instance, he decried that while applying for foreign grants, they (mathematicians) often face the problem of having to compete with researchers from Namibia and other poorer countries for funds, because of the belief of foreigners that Nigeria was rich enough to sponsor its researchers. He charged students and researchers alike to be resolute, in order to overcome a major mental challenge, which is the fear of mathematics (arithmophobia).

    He pointed out that the Chinese and Taiwanese were the best mathematicians in the world, because they usually start teaching their children early in life, in the local way using the Chinese Abacus, which helps to develop the intellect of children at a young age, such that they are not scared of figures. He then charged the older ones not to discourage the younger ones from learning mathematics, because without fear, people would find mathematics easy to learn.

    Professor Adeniran revealed that his focus was to look for more areas in the application of his research, by affecting lives positively. He encouraged researchers to keep up the good work of trying to solve societal issues. He added that the country needed to encourage indigenous research that could solve the problems of housing, food, clothing and shelter, by making use of research recommendations, while also calling on the government to make adequate budgetary provisions for research.

FUNAAB Passes Confidence Vote on VC… Promotes 23 As Professors, 285 Others

The Senate of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), has, during a sitting convened recently, reviewed the current situation in the University and passed a vote of confidence on the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole. It also noted that it was satisfied and supported all measures taken by the Governing Council and the University Management, to ensure peace, security and unfettered academic activities in the University.

    According to the Registrar and Secretary to Senate, Mr. Mathew Ayoola, the Senate stated that the allegations levelled against some officers of the University, were now before a court of competent jurisdiction and hence, reserved comment. It, however, noted that all accused persons are presumed innocent, until proven otherwise by the court.

    The Senate, therefore, re-affirmed its confidence in the ability of the Vice-Chancellor to provide academic and administrative leadership during the remaining part of his tenure, adding that the process for the selection of a new Vice-Chancellor for the University, has begun in accordance with the law.
    Senate expressed deep concern over the emerging trend in Nigerian universities, where some persons or group of persons in the guise of unionism, acting alone or in concert with internal and external influences, seek to control the levers of administration and undermine the peace and harmony in the system, while it also re-affirmed its resolve to uphold the laws of the University and ensure discipline and good governance at all times.

    Meanwhile, the Governing Council of the University in furtherance of its commitment to manpower and capacity development, has approved the elevation of 23 Readers as Professors, while 285 other academic and non-teaching staff have also been promoted. According to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, the promotion exercise was a call to greater responsibilities, noting that the gesture was in recognition of the dedication and contribution of the affected staff to duty, in line with the extant provisions of the University.  Professor Oyewole, who is also the President, Association of African Universities (AAU), expressed optimism that the exercise would serve as a source of motivation to the affected staff. The Vice-Chancellor further congratulated the beneficiaries, while imploring them to be prepared for higher service.

    In another development, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, in company of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, Professor Oluyemisi Eromosele and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Development, Professor Ololade Enikuomehin, embarked on a spot-check of examination centres in the University, to ascertain the conduct of the students and the invigilators in the ongoing examinations.

    Speaking on his assessment, the Vice-Chancellor said, they (officials involved in the conduct of the examinations), were “very organised and the condition is excellent”.  Centres visited include the Professor Mahmood Yakubu Lecture Theatre; 500-Seater Computer Laboratory and Julius Amioba Okojie (JAO) Lecture Theatres; College of Plant Science and Crop Production (COLPLANT) Auditorium, as well as the College of Engineering (COLENG) Auditorium, among others.

Field, Open Days at FUNAAB

The Department of Pure and Applied Botany (PAB), College of Biosciences (COLBIOS), has held its first Field Day workshop tagged, “Growing Greens: Essential for Healthy Living”, to sensitise members of the University community and the general public on the importance, uses and health benefits of some common plants; showcased plants that could contribute to improving daily healthy living; stimulate students’ interest in the field of botany and; prepare students for life-after-school in the field of Botany.

    According to the Acting Head, Department of Pure and Applied Botany, Dr. Iyabo Kehinde, plants play an indispensable role in the ecosystem and must be properly managed for its inherent benefits to be harnessed. She disclosed that in pursuance of this goal, the Department has a Botanical Garden, located in the University, behind the Ceremonial Gate, which was established to maintain documented collections of living plants for training, research and conservation, aside being a place for recreation, while adding that the garden had over 40 plant families represented. The University Don, who noted that the Field Day was organised to showcase the ‘greens’ that the Department represents, added that the Department had plans to elevate the garden to international standards with the inclusion of a botanical garden park, where staff and students can visit for research, training and relaxation in the near future.

    Commending the initiative of the Department, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Development, Professor Ololade Enikuomehin, expressed satisfaction with the amount of work that had been put into improving the garden. According to him, this was a confirmation that the students in the Department would not only go through theoretical training, but would be taken through practicals in their field of study. Professor Enikuomehin, who noted that the field of Botany was a lucrative and viable one, disclosed further that he was also a Botanist and charged the students to be rest assured that a great future lies ahead for them in the field of Botany.

    Speaking on the efficacy of some common plants, the guest lecturer, Dr. Idayat Gbadamosi, a practising Ethno-botanist from the Department of Botany, University of Ibadan, spoke extensively on the theme of the field day. She enumerated the prevalence of diseases in Nigeria and the roles of herbal products in the treatment of such diseases, stating that the secondary metabolites, plant nutrients and plant minerals found in plants have medicinal effects, which are important in addressing health issues. Dr. Gbadamosi reeled out recipes for some diseases and ailments using plants, which she said had been proven over time to work well, while encouraging participants to ensure they use both Vernonia amygdalina (bitter leaf) and Ocimum gratissimum (efirin). “These are plants very close to us and with good medicinal contents”, as she concluded that the growing and sustainable use of ‘greens’ would ensure their availability as food, medicine and ornamentals.

    In her goodwill message, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, Professor Catherine Eromosele, lauded the vision of the Botanical Garden Park and prayed that the Department continues to wax stronger. Earlier in his Address, the Dean, COLBIOS, Professor David Agboola commended the quality of staff that make up the Department, attributing the success of the Department to the tenacity and dedication of the entire workforce. He also appreciated the University Management for its support and requested that the Vice-Chancellor approves an increase in the number of hectares of land allocated to the botanical garden.
    The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), Professor Catherine Eromosele and other dignitaries, thereafter, took turns in planting ornamentals on the proposed site of the park. There was also an interdepartmental debate between students in the Departments of Microbiology, Biochemistry and Pure and Applied Botany on the topic, ‘Botanicals vs Synthetic Drugs (pills) for healthy living’.

    In another development, members of the FUNAAB Community Organic Box Scheme (COBS), Organic Project in Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria (OAPTIN), recently had their Open Day with a clarion call on members of the University community to join the scheme, as part of the measures to promote healthy living. Speaking on the Organic Agriculture Skills Demonstration Plot, Dr. Tunrayo Joseph-Adekunle, said organic agriculture is the type of farming without the use and application of an agro-fertilizer.

    According to her, membership of the scheme, which currently stands at 27, is voluntary and open to members of the FUNAAB community (academic and non-teaching), who are desirous of promoting healthy living, increase their life span and have a peaceful rest of mind in whatever they consume. At the occasion, Dr. Joseph-Adekunle, who represented the coordinator of the scheme, Professor Jonathan Atungwu, said COBS was based on integrity, as this was the main reason why organic products were often been shared equally among members, every Friday of the week, throughout year round and in a sustainable manner.

    The scheme produces organic vegetables, pineapple, moringa, plantain, egg plants, passion fruits, fluted pumpkin, cucumber, pepper, tomato, sweet potato, pawpaw, oranges and maize, among others. She listed some of the challenges being faced on the farm to include stealing of produce by unknown persons, shortage of water and insect-pests attack. Responding, members of the scheme appreciated the efforts of the technical team promising to always cooperate and support the cause of organic agriculture.  They also called on the University Management to assist the scheme by digging a functional well that would provide regular water for the plants.

    COBS has further reiterated its determination to ensure all-year-round supply of fresh, high quality and healthier organic produce to its members and the entire University community. Interested persons, who intend to join the scheme, should contact the coordinator through: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call: 08037156261.

My Goal, To Develop Productive, Adaptive Animal Breed – Prof. Ozoje

A Professor of Quantitative and Statistical Genetics, Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, College of Animal Science and Livestock Production (COLANIM), Professor Michael Ozoje, has noted that the general belief that the average performance of most livestock in humid Africa is poor, has channelled his research interest towards developing and improving the performance of Nigerian livestock to be more productive and adaptive in any zone of the country.

    According to him, “it has been established that the average livestock in humid Africa, have poor performance in growth, meat and milk production.” This, according to him, does not mean that they do not have their own advantages, which lies in their genes and which makes them to survive in the humid zones, unlike their imported counterpart which has adaptability and survivability problems, when imported into the country.

    To this end, he said such African livestock carry some good genes that are actually useful for livestock development. Although low in productivity, they have high survivability and adaptability, which had led his research to focus on “Productive Adaptability”, that is, producing livestock with good adaptive performance and at same time productive. Professor Ozoje listed different ways to improve production to include selection, cross-breeding, gene complementarity and combining ability. Based on these principles, he suggested that developing livestock should be based on tropical adaptive livestock. He noted that in developing a good livestock, progressed over the years maternal effect plays a big role,  where the breed that forms the sire (father) and Dam (mother) also determines the survival rate of the offspring.

    The Don also noted that research had made animal breeders realise that colour is also important in animal adaptability. He said that there are colours that made animals comfortable and uncomfortable, taking the goat performance as an example; as he related the scenario to where the goats, with coat colour that reflects light (white and light brown), grows slower, but mature bigger at the end.

    In addition to the above, Professor Ozoje said he proceeded to modeling the growth performance of the animals, which involved modeling survival after crossbreeding through the Weibull model, a survival function, where he advised that, in order to increase growth performance and survival rate and of local breeds, at least about 25 per cent of exotic blood should be used. However, the exotic livestock used should be sub-tropic breeds so that the adaptive potentials of the offsprings will not be adversely affected. He described research in Animal Breeding and Genetics as continuous, which had also made him and his research team to dovetail Into the applications of molecular genetics techniques, with the basic advantage of accelerating the selection process. He said “We are building our research daily, with the task that require developing breeds that their performance will be sustainable and acceptable in different zones of the country, considering Nigeria’s diverse nature.”

    Professor Ozoje described Animal Breeding and Genetics (ABG), as a dynamic discipline that is growing every day and enables students to learn new things. “Animal Breeding deals with the applications of basic molecular genetics principles, in addition to the classical breeding techniques. Those that come into this field find it interesting, because it affords them the opportunity to learn new things every day and they embrace it whole-heartedly”, he added. He further described the discipline as age-long and akin to Jacob’s practice in the Holy Bible, which he said had also been researched into by researchers and proven to have genetic basis.

    He described researches in ABG as capital intensive, while foreign countries and donors hardly come to their aid in terms of donation and research funding. Rather, they would develop their breed and sell to the countries that need it. They would rather fund researches in field of diseases and other related fields, he said.

    While attributing the nation’s government attitude towards research as not being patient, Professor Ozoje advised that government should rather be patient, whenever they put in money for researches, Drawing examples from ABG, he said researches in the discipline have genetic progress, whose result takes time and the outcome lasts for a lifetime. Therefore, he tasked policy makers in the country to fund researches that would “go generations”, while he stated that most of the funding they get for researches in the country were mainly from outside donors and sponsors from other countries. According to him, the essence of research is to be sustainable. He frowned at the attitude of some multinationals funding researches outside the country instead of focusing on funding researches internally for the improvement of the country, as he called for the need to make researches “environmentally-dependent”.