Nifst 2020: Agriculture is still our most viable option for growth than oil - Paul Gbedebo MD Flour Mills - Paul Ukpabio's Blog


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Thursday, 29 October 2020

Nifst 2020: Agriculture is still our most viable option for growth than oil - Paul Gbedebo MD Flour Mills

The Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) held its 44th annual international conference and general meeting recently at D’Podium Event Centre, Ikeja, Lagos. The theme of the conference which was ‘Agro and Food Processing for Wealth Creation – the Nigerian Experience’ had participants from all parts of the country and international participants including West African countries, South Africa, Canada and Europe.

The conference had a total submission of 150 abstracts with 26 papers presented physically and virtually. There were four plenary sections and various exhibitions from various industries. Over 300 physical participants were in attendance with 200 virtual participants joined with investiture of five (5) new Fellows and induction of one thousand eight hundred and four new members. Participants were drawn from the academia, research institutes, regulatory bodies, industries and representative from National University Commission, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology and other allied ministries.

The conference which was chaired by Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission Prof. Abubakar A. Rasheed, duly represented by Alhj. Ibrahim Umar Yakassai, had the keynote address delivered by the CEO/MD Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc Mr Paul Miyonmide Gbededo who buttressed on full adoption of Food industrial backward integration system and the need to focus on agriculture as our most viable option rather than oil, and was in alliance with the goodwill message from the conference Chief Host, Dr. Ogbonaya Onu, Hon. Minister of Science & Technology.

In his welcome address, Mr Oluwole Toye, NIFST National President buttressed on a need for defined strategic structure via which the institute shall propel the charter mandate to actualize the deliverables inherent in it to the benefit of our dear nation Nigeria as the institute became chattered with the establishment of the Nigerian Council of 

Food Science & Technology (NCFST) Act Cap A2 LFN of 16th October 2019 signed into law by the President and Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari.

Other Dignitaries at the event included: Former Deputy Governor of Kano state Prof. Hafiz Abubakar, Prof. (Mrs) Moji Adeyeye- DG/CEO National Agency for Food, Drug Administration & Control (NAFDAC), Ag. DG, Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO) Dr. (Mrs) Yemisi Asagbra, Dr Damian Ihedioha, Chief Agro Industry Officer and Agro Industry Department African Development Bank, Abidjan, Pharm. Saleh Faruq, DG Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) represented by Dr (Mrs) Omolola Okunlola, Dr (Mrs) Dolapo Coker, First Female NIFST President who awarded the pioneer Best Female Graduating Student Award in Food Science and Technology (2019) to Agoro Kofoworola (LASPOTECH) by Dolapo Coker Foundation, Prof. L.O Sanni Project Manager, Basic II, IITA and other Distinguished Fellows of the institute present.

The president as well highlighted the flagship of the partnership project with Wageningen University, a collaborative project on street food safety among other activities of the Institute in the last one year. Goodwill messages were delivered by representative of Technoserve, FIIRO, SON, Ajinomoto, University of Mkar, Benue State, National Universities Commission and Micronutrient Lab Limited.

 The conference served as a platform to reiterate the call of stakeholders for a backward integration system in the food and agro allied industry and achieve the goals and objectives of the Nigerian institute of Food Science and Technology in Nigeria as an effective tool for diversification of national economy. 

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