By Funmilola Gboteku
Lagos, Feb. 2, 2023
The Nigeria LNG Ltd. (NLNG) says it has partnered with the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on presentation of the joint-winners of the 2022 Nigeria Prize for Science to industry players.
According to NLNG in a statement on Thursday in Lagos, the 2022 Nigeria Prize for Science is an effort to push agricultural innovations that can positively impact food security in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the panel of judges for the Nigeria Prize for Science received 107 entries from scientists worldwide for the 2022 edition.
The panel of judges, led by Prof. Christian Agbo, from the Department of Agriculture, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, reached the decision on the winning entries.
Other members on the panel included Ms. Funke Opeke, Chief Executive Officer of MainOne, and Prof. Mohammed Magaji, from the Department of Agronomy, Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto.
The outstanding works was on: “Gains in Grain Yield of Released Maize (Zea Mays L.) Cultivars under Drought and Well-Watered Conditions”, by Muhydideen Oyekunle and Shehu Ado.
The second work was on: “Development of Process Plant for Plantain Flour”, by Sesan Ayodeji and Emmanuel Olatomilola.
The two groups would split the 100,000-dollars grand prize.
The General Manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development, NLNG, Mr. Andy Odeh, said the Prize’s focus on Food Security in 2022 was in alignment with Goal Two of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which seeks sustainable solutions to end hunger by 2030 and to achieve food security.
He said that NLNG was interested in the impact the innovations would have on food security and socio-economic well-being of Nigerians.
He added that the company was aware that it was not enough to have innovations without them impacting the society.
“Being a company committed to building a better Nigeria, NLNG is seeking ways to ensure that these improvements bring about positive developmental change in its home country,” he said.
The Chairman of the Prize’s Advisory Board, Prof. Barth Nnaji, said: “It is our strategic view that the Nigeria Prize for Science would bring to the fore investment networks and harmonisation efforts to support agriculture in Nigeria.”
Nnaji said that the Nigeria Prize for Science was sponsored by NLNG to promote innovations in science and technology that would solve age-long problems and drive development in Nigeria.
Also, the President of LCCI, Mr. Michael Olawale-Cole, said that there was no better time to gather over a topic on food security as the threat of destructive flooding and droughts facing the country due to climate change.
He added that this was also coming at a time when Nigeria was grappling with a surging food inflation at 23.75 per cent which had been the main driver of Nigeria’s high headline inflation at 21.34 per cent.
He said the country needed scientific exploits in the field of agriculture to beat the emerging effects of climate change.
“The awardees we celebrate today have distinguished themselves with a show of unrivaled intellectual capacity that has led to innovative discoveries in agriculture and food security.
“In the face of threatening weather conditions, we need new methods, tools, and infrastructure to cope with emerging challenges in agriculture.
“We celebrate the winners of the NLNG 2022 Nigeria Prize for Science, and we say congratulations to the awardees,” he said.
Olawale-Cole said that the chamber had consistently collaborated with reputable institutions like the NLNG to promote programmes that enhance the business environment, citizens’ welfare and stability in the economy.