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A review team from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) a specialised agency of the European Community (EC), in collaboration with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), paid a visit to the Nigerian Institute of Science Laboratory Technology (NISLT) as the institute was one of the agencies of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology that IITA is partnering with in agricultural-related services.
Welcoming members of the team to the institute, the Director-General, NISLT, Dr Ighodalo Folorunso Ijagbone, said the management of NISLT was hopeful that the meeting would open up new frontiers for the Institute. He said the Federal Government was desirous of partnering with the private and other sectors through Public Private Partnership (PPP) programme, as one of the key strategies for development.
While he made a presentation about the institute and its activities to the visiting team, he explained the mandate of the institute to cover professional membership, regulatory activities and research in some areas of Science and Technology. He said the institute has a multipurpose laboratory where different samples from all walks of life, including agricultural samples, were brought for analysis.
He noted that results of tests and analysis carried out by the institute were of international standards noting that the institute has a working relationship (tests results exchange programme) with a university in Holland where results of tests and analysis carried out by the institute were compared to ensure conformity with international standards.
He particularly emphasised that the institute and IITA also work together in areas of capacity development, stressing that IITA has been very helpful in the training of the institute’s members at training workshops organised by the institute.
Also speaking at the occassion, Dr Lava Kumal, head of the IITA delegation, thanked the institute for the partnership/relationship that exists between it and IITA. He informed the EC-IFAD team that the institute was one of the foremost agencies in the country that IITA is partnering with in the areas of capacity development, research testing of agricultural products and biotechnology, because of the uniqueness of the institute in terms of facility, equipment, skilful manpower and technical know-how. He said efforts were in top gear to strengthen the partnership that exists between the two institutes.
Mr Richard Lambou, who spoke on behalf of the EC review team, commended the NISLT’s efforts in terms of neatness of the environment and facilities on ground. He noted that one of the major problems confronting Africa as a continent, and Nigeria in particular, was power generation. Lambou, who was impressed with the installation of solar panels in the institute, informed that NISLT was the first place he had been to in Nigeria with the kind of structure and a very beautiful and serene environment where solar panels were really in place for electricity generation.
He said the EC review team was in Nigeria to monitor the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Project, a strategic alliance that unites organisations involved in agricultural research for sustainable development, with the donors that fund such work project, which, according to him, included IITA’s work on Agrobiodiversity, in which they have collaborated with NISLT over the years, and how IITA was partnering with other agencies and institutions for research, particularly in agriculture.
He said he was impressed with the partnership between the institutes, noting that NISLT and IITA could use science and technology to boost food production.
Responding, Ijagbone said Science and Technology is a major factor in boosting agricultural development all over the world.
He said whatever way the EC could assist the institute in the attainment of its mandate, would be highly appreciated.
He emphasised the need to strengthen the partnership between the NISLT and IITA, pointing out that there was need for the two bodies to look critically at the elements of partnership, with the aim of strengthening it.Share