Biotechnology, Way Out of Recession - Oyawoye
For Nigeria to be out of the current economic recession, she has to think Biotechnology because of its application to several areas of human endevours such as food, health, industry and climate change among others.
This was the call of Professor Olubukola Oyawoye, the guest speaker at the recently concluded 3-day 7th International Biotechnology Conference, Exhibition and Workshop (IBCE&W) 2017, which took place at Covenant University, Ota.
While speaking on the theme, “Global Economic Recession: The Place of Biotechnology”, Professor Oyawoye, who was a former Commissioner for Environment and Sanitation, Osun State and current Dean, Faculty of Science, Adeleke University, Ede, also in Osun State, argued that finding solution to recession needs divine intervention which, she said, is embedded in biotechnology.
“Nigeria’s economy is not immune from global happenings and the present global economic meltdown has its tows on her economy. Countries with poor working attitudes, poor producers of goods, consumers of ostentatious goods, wasters of goods especially food, with mono economy are worse hit when global recession sets in. Nigeria falls into this category. A way of escape is divine wisdom and understanding which has been embedded within biotechnology,” she explained.
Professor Oyawoye further explained the application of biotechnology to food and agriculture, health, safety, medicine, industry and climate change, adding that biotechnology has the power to improve human health, environmental sustainability and the wellbeing of the people and the global community.
The guest speaker, however, noted that one of the major constraints to acceptance of modern biotechnology in Africa is misinformation. This, she said, continue to influence adoption and policy choices. “Generation of accurate and science-based information is therefore crucial to informed decision-making, which would lead to greater appreciation of the contributions of biotechnology to food security and wealth creation,” she said.
Professor Oyawoye therefore called for collaboration among all scientists in order to achieve greatness and get Nigeria and the world out of economic recession, using biotechnological approach.
The Vice-Chancellor, Covenant University, Professor AAA. Atayero, represented by his deputy, Professor Shalom Chinedu, in his remarks, noted that biotechnology is today leading a sudden new biological revolution with positive impacts on medicine, agriculture, industry and the environment. This, according to him, has brought mankind to a world of ‘engineered’ products based on natural processes and taking humanity beyond ever known depth of understanding of chemical and physical basis of life to the molecular basis of creation.
He expressed hope that the participants would be able to come up with very concrete steps, which Africa must take to stop hunger and diseases as well as chart the course for industrial revolution that would enable the Continent stand and earn her place in the world.
Earlier in her welcome message, the Head, Department of Biological Sciences, Covenant University, Professor Adesola Ajayi, stated that the IBCE&W 2017 was a bold step by the University in ensuring the repositioning of Nigeria and Africa on the platform of biotechnology. She added that there could be no meaningful development in a country without multidisciplinary research, and advised the government to put an enabling environment in place, which would ensure adequate application of biological tools.
Other speakers at the event were Professor Jacob Akinyemi, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, he spoke on ‘Agricultural Biotechnology: A Panacea for Food Security and Developing Countries’; Dr. Adebukola George, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, ‘Recession: Friend or Foe to Biotechnology’; Professor Louis Egwari, Covenant University, ‘Biotechnology Center: Contributing to National and Global Economy’.
Professor Olawole Obembe, Covenant University, ‘Genetic Engineering on Agriculture’; Mr. Toyosi Raheem, National President, Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), ‘Effects of Global Economic Recession on Health Diagnostic and Diagnosis’.