Friday- 30th July, 2021: The Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology, (FCAH&PT), Moor Plantation, Ibadan, under the administrative of the provost, Dr. A.O Owosibo, held its 2nd annual conference on Monday 26th July to Tuesday 27th July, 2021.
The 2-day conference held at Dr. K.J. Nwufoh Hall of the great citadel of learning was themed: “Technology and Innovation: Panacea for Nigeria’s Growth and Development in the Post Pandemic Era.”
The event was graced by erudite scholars, academicians and agricultural and scientific research.
The lectures had Prof. L.B. Taiwo, a professor of Soil Microbiology Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T) Ibadan as the key note speaker, Prof. J.A. Adegoke, Geophysics at the University of Ibadan (UI), as the Lead Presenter 1, Dr. K.K. Salman, an agricultural researcher University of Ibadan, as the Lead Presenter 2 and other academic researchers.
The provost who doubles as the chief host of the conference, Dr. A.O Owosibo as in his opening remarks noted that Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) is the only mechanism that can pave way for Nigeria’s growth and development at all levels.
Owosibo urged the Nigerian government to disburse more funds for the research institutes nationwide which will aid effective and efficient output.
In an Exclusive Interview with CEOAFRICA, Dr. Owosibo, who spoke on what the conference entails disclosed that the conference is to showcase the little the institution is doing in terms of research and training.
He stated that the conference will afford researchers the opportunity both in Nigeria and abroad to rub minds on every area of science not limited to agriculture,
In his word “The conference is to showcase the little we are doing in terms of research and training in the college, as we are collaborating with other agencies; research institutes both local and international.”
“This programme will afford researchers the opportunity both in Nigeria and abroad to rub minds on every area of science not limited to agriculture, as it affects the growth of economy in Nigeria especially in this post-pandemic era as COVID-19 has changed a lot of things in the country.
“We also want to see how we can take advantage of technology in this era. That is the essence of the conference”.
Speaking further, the provost urged the government not to relent its effort on diversification of economy towards Agriculture.
“I will urge the Nigeria government not to relent its effort on diversification of economy. As we are having a lot of breakthroughs in the area of agriculture and we are following the mandate given to us by the government to make sure that we have food security in the country”.
“By that, we are moving on and showcasing ways the farmers can adapt to new innovation as there are areas of technology, innovation breakthroughs that we have in this college, like electro-ejaculator, biogas and many more that we have been showcasing in science and technology exhibitions all over the country”, he said.
Dr. Owosibo added that as the world is now turning to a global village, Science, Technology, and Innovation is required in the country so as to reshuffle the direction of Nigeria’s economy in digression from crude oil.
He noted that the college is working in partnership with its supervisory to contribute to the diversification of the Nigerian economy through training and empowerment in agribusiness, animal care, production and health, food security and massive production.
He assured that the college is prepared to collaborate with the state, private sector, government agencies and investors to improve agricultural practices, boost food production and yield a robust macro economy.
The key note speaker, Prof. Lateef Bamidele Taiwo, while speaking on the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, described it “as a menace that crippled Nigeria economy,”
Prof Taiwo made this known at the ongoing 2nd Annual Conference and Call for Paper, which was held at the Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology, Moor Plantation, Ibadan.
Prof. Taiwo said that although Nigeria recorded relatively fewer cases compared to other countries of the world, the weak health care systems in the country exacerbated the impact of the pandemic on the economy.
According to the erudite scholar, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revised Nigeria’s 2020 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and growth rate has fallen from 2.5 to 2% due to the low oil prices and fiscal space.
He added that the most recent estimate has put Nigeria’s debt service-to-revenue ratio at 60% as Nigerian government recently raised its borrowing limit in a new Debt Management Plan which projected to increase to 40% of the GDP.
According to Prof. Taiwo, the theme of the conference is very important and crucial presently.
“The theme of the conference is very important at this time as we just experienced COVID-19 crisis which has destabilized the Nigerian economy, we need to talk about the experiences we had, challenges and how to tackle the problems which is just to prepare us for future incidence of any disease including the resurgence of COVID-19”.
He added that without Science, Technology, and Innovation, (STI), Nigeria as a country cannot develop. According to him, Nigerians have to focus more on developing techniques to tackle the challenges that might come up in the future.
“Nigeria is part of the global body and we can’t afford to stay behind while other countries are moving forward, there is no country that does not lay emphasis on Science and Technology. Science as I defined it, is to solve problems in all spheres of life, whether in education or agriculture.
“The essence is to sit down and analyze the problem, the fact that we’re far behind contributed to our slow response to the outbreak of COVID-19”.
On diversification, the research scholar said “Nigeria government should desist from theoretical diversification and take action by investing in Agriculture and scientific research, which will at the end aid proper production and provide solutions to the challenges embattling the country.
“If we want to diversify, we need to talk more about Agriculture. Most of the practicing farmers are old. We need to encourage the young farmers because they produce 75% of the food we consume in Nigeria. If we don’t train them, there’s no way we can sustain production.”
On his part, the Lead Speaker at the conference Prof. J.A. Adegoke while highlighting the challenges embattling Nigeria and how to proffer possible solutions to Nigeria’s detriment said with the aid ofresearch and innovation, Nigeria as a country can prosper.
In an Exclusive Interview with CEOAFRICA, Adegoke urged companies, organizations, industries, factories to set aside funds to support research institutes, adding that not only the government should be bear the funding responsibilities but companies should partake as well.
In his response to how STI can impact Nigeria development, Adegoke said “gone are those days when we will be talking about physical strength of a country but in this contemporary world we are talking about mental strength, it is when we sit down and go into research, development as well as innovation that we can have products to show for it
“Like I said earlier, it is a process whereby country like Nigeria will be able to benefit from the research output ranging from any sector up to agricultural sector which at the end will benefit entire country and at the end will increase Nigeria Internal Generated Revenue (IGR), and at same time aid in foreign exchange”.
The erudite professor in the scientific field admonished the researcher to go extra-mile in profound an innovation that will tackle all the challenges facing the country which should not be limited to agriculture alone.
The researchers in affirmation called for mutual cooperation on research development between government, industries, and academicians in the country in order to enhance effective and efficient research output.