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Covenant has the Resources to become the hub for Harvesting Microbial Resources in Nigeria – President, BSN

The President of the Biotechnology Society of Nigeria, Professor Mohammed B. Yerima, has heaped plaudits on Covenant University as one of the very few institutions in Nigeria with the requisite capacity to teach and carry out a deep research in the area of biotechnology.

Professor Yerima said this when he led a team of facilitators to the 2022 International Biotechnological Conference, Exhibition and Workshop (IBCE&W) on a courtesy call to the University Management on Tuesday, September 21, 2022. He said the growing profile of Covenant University, the availability of quality research equipment and the stable power supply have made the University an institution that BSN should be ready to partner with in the area of research and development.

Professor Yerima said the microbial industry is one of the richest, much more than oil, but the neglect of that sector has not made the nation tap into the inherent potential therein. "I hope that the existing MOU between Covenant and BSN can be reactivated so as to ensure that Covenant becomes the hub for harvesting microbial resources in Nigeria," he enthused.

He said the new relationship will leverage the capability of Covenant in becoming a culture collection centre, and those in need of manufacturing cultures can come to get the same from the Covenant University repository of cultures.

He noted that just as humans have their own tribal relations, so do microbial organisms, and Covenant can become a central point for harvesting microbial cultures that will become a huge revenue generation centre for the University and the BSN.

In addition, Professor Yerima identified the need for a gene bank just as it exists in Asia, Europe, and America. According to him, the laboratory infrastructure in place at Covenant University, if properly done, can turn around the nation’s economy in a matter of time. "The time has come for tertiary institutions to think inward in the quest to address the issue of funding bedevilling the nation’s education sector," he added.

In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor of Covenant University, Professor Abiodun H. Adebayo, appreciated the leadership of BSN for its lofty and noble ideas, noting the important role of biotechnology in driving national development.

Professor Adebayo said that as a University, Covenant is open to partnering with BSN to have a hub for the collection and processing of microbial cultures. He, however, pointed out the role that politics has played in hindering developmental ideas when it comes to a public-private partnership.

Professor Adebayo tasked the leadership of BSN and relevant departments in Covenant to revisit the existing MOU and identify concrete ideas that necessitate immediate activation, as it takes human efforts to make ideas on paper a reality.

Also present to receive the guests were the Acting Registrar, Mr. Emmanuel Igban; Director, Vice-Chancellor’s Office, Professor Omotayo Osibanjo; Head, Department of Biological Sciences, Professor Solomon Oranusi; Chair-holder, UNESCO Chair on Plant Biotechnology, Covenant University, Professor Obembe; Professor Conrad Omohinmi; and the Chair, LOC 2022 International Biotechnological Conference, Exhibition and Workshop (IBCE&W), Dr Paul Akinduti.

 

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