AIMN seeks modern biotechnology application as alternative to oil

Industrial biotechnology may be the answer to most of the country’s insufficiencies, only if the Federal Government drives its use and penetration in the country. President of the Association of Industrial Microbiologists of Nigeria (AIMN), Dr. Joy Ehiwuogu-Onyibe, stated this during the association’s conference and symposium at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Conference and Exhibition Centre, Ikeja with the theme: Industrial Biotechnology in Nigeria Economic Advancement, Past, Present and Future Prospects.

She argued that lack of capacity to explore other mineral resources has made the country highly deficient in infrastructure and over-dependent on oil revenue, while the private sector has been succeeding where the government is failing.

“AIMN is a body of experts in microbiology from the industries, research institutes and universities that have come together to bring the significance of microbiology in today’s technology to limelight. “The association is a professional non-profit association for scientists in any field of industrial microbiology and biotechnology activities”.

The keynote speaker and Dean, College of Basic and Applied Sciences, Mountain Top University, Professor Akinwade Amos Ifeolu, noted: “There is no doubt biotechnology has been applied in Nigeria in the past.

“It is applied in the present and it will be extensively used in the future contributing to the economy. Modern biotechnology application is the solution to Nigeria’s challenges because it improves agricultural products, yield and quality.”Managing Director of BMS Limited and Chairman of the occasion, Dr. Bola Osinowo, in his address said: “The commercialisation of research results from the broad use of biotechnology in various endeavours such as in the medical, environment, food and agricultural biotechnology fields is known as industrial biotechnology”.

He stated that with the massive biological resources the country, Nigeria was in a position to produce several biotechnological products at competitive prices.“Without the benefits of industrial biotechnology, companies such as the Nigerian Bottling Company, Cadbury Nigeria Plc, Dangote Flour Mills Plc and many others would not be able to remain profitable entities for long.

“This is because inputs from industrial biotechnology are basically what enabled them to preserve their products over a long period of time,” he added.Head of Laboratory, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mojisola Kehinde, represented the Director General as special guest.

Also present were the Director, Production, Analytical Services and Laboratory Management of Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), Agnes Asagbra and Lagos State Coordinator of Small, Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).Akinwande disclosed that Nigerians consume 18 million hectolitres of beer every year, adding: “The Nigerian government is not unmindful of the benefits of modern biotechnology.

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AIMNJoy Ehiwuogu-Onyibe
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