The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Tuesday called for the adequate policy to ensure collaboration among researchers in the country.
The Agency’s Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, made the call at the 10th Dr J.K. Ladipo Biennial Memorial Lecture, in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of his demise.
Adeyeye was represented on the occasion by Simidele Onabajo, Technical Assistant to the D-G on Food and Stakeholders.
The lecture titled: “Research Collaboration and Industry Linkages: A Sustainable Partnership”, was organised by the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Dr Josephus Kehinde Ladipo, popularly called JK, was one of the founding members of NIFST in 1976.
He was born of an Egba parentage on July 12, 1945.
He was 31 years old when NIFST was conceptualised and he died on Aug. 7, 1994.
According to Adeyeye, having a policy will ensure that collaborated efforts will be linked to the end result.
She noted that policy would also help in tightening linkages, by ensuring that industry members identify themselves through collaboration in research activities.
“There is a need to set guidelines to get maximum benefits of research collaboration and ensure there exists a relationship between the project manager to ensure continuity.
“When everybody works together, it will ensure that the root of issues will be looked at and change the mindset of people toward research.
“There is need to drive innovation by strengthening linkages that will ensure that research finding reaches the final consumers,’’ she said.
Adeyeye listed the benefits of collaboration in research as commercialisation of results, learning, access to funds, grants and others and ensure knowledge transfer.
The director-general said that collaboration would help bring the research to the fore so that it would be used for the development of the economy of the country.
Prof. Hafiz Abubakar, a former Deputy Governor, Kano State, said that the industry was moving forward toward the actualisation of the founding fathers’ mission.
According to him, the NIFST Bill, which is awaiting assent by the president, will ensure the industry moves forward.
Abubakar noted that the issue of research and industry linkage was weak in the country, saying that if NIFST had its recognition, it would ensure the linkage was not weak.
“The greatest commendation we will give to the man we are celebrating today is to ensure that the industry he had built is moving forward, and this will be ensured through collaboration.
“Collaboration will ensure food security is ensured, wealth is created by our researches being lifted from shelves of organizations,’’ he said.
Dr Chima Igwe, Acting Director-General, Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), said that finding good collaborators, developmental partners was a challenge hindering research in the country.
According to him, the topic of the lecture is apt, as it will help in addressing the gaps and put up solutions to mitigate these gaps.
Igwe said that having a deliberate effort in research to industrial linkages would ensure the diversification of the country’s economy.
Earlier, the President of NIFST, Mr Oluwole Toye, said that the lecture was to honour late Ladipo, who was passionate in pursuing the vision and mission of NIFST, centered on food security and safety.
According to him, this year marks the 10th edition of the lecture and the 25th year of Ladipo’s transition.
“This forum demonstrates one of our cardinal objectives which are to disseminate knowledge among food professionals by sponsoring studies, workshops, symposia, seminars and publications.
‘’It is also aimed at focusing attention on food problems and associated government policies and actions.
“NIFST believes and knows that the first medication is safe and nutritious food; and so, is happy with the presence and growing relationship between itself and NAFDAC,’’ he said.
Toye used the medium to appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the Charter Bill to regulate the practice of food professionals in the country.
According to him, the bill has passed the three readings at the National Assembly and will help empower the institute to achieve its mission to harness the abundance of talents and knowledge among food professionals, toward food sufficiency.