Friday, 27 November 2015

Institute honours Nigerian researchers for developing typhoid vaccine, others

The International Institute for Training, Research and Economic Development (IITRED) has awarded prizes to three Nigerian researchers for developing typhoid fever vaccine, micro-needles and anti-snake venom respectively.

The prizes were given at the 2015 Distinguished Research Seminar and IITRED Research Prize Award/Dinner on Thursday in Abuja.
The recipients were Prof. Samuel Garba of Federal University of Technology, Minna, who developed typhoid vaccine and Dr Ololade Olatunji of University of Lagos, who developed micro-needles from fish scales.
The third award recipient was Prof. John Aguiyi of the University of Jos, who developed anti-snake venom.
In a welcome address at the prize presentation, the Chairman of IITRED, Dr Hassan Adamu, said that the award was meant to promote local research and provide solutions to societal needs.
Represented by Mr Abdulhameed Usman, the IITRED chairman decried the lack of support for local technology and innovations.
He said “each year, IITRED reaches out to institutions in Nigeria to request for research nominations in areas that concern the society in order to stimulate demand-driven studies.
“By doing this, we hope that some of the challenges bedeviling our quest for industrial growth will be solved through the findings of our outstanding researchers.
“We must develop our own technology; no country will give us theirs; the output of local researchers which are as good as that of their foreign counterparts often end up in cupboards because we refuse to patronise their products.
“We excessively rely on foreign goods; this attitude further makes us dependent and almost 90 per cent of our technology are imported.’’
In his remarks, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, the Minister of Science and Technology and Chairman of the occasion, lauded IITRED for its noble gesture in promoting innovations.
Onu, who was represented by Mr Adeneye Talabi, the Director of Science and Technology in the ministry, urged IITRED to extend its awards to the area of Engineering.
He pledged the ministry’s commitment at promoting science and technology and encouraging innovations.
He said “we see IITRED as development partners; we are the vanguard in the promotion of science and technology.
“There is a Presidential Standing Committee on Local Inventions and Innovations and the fund has been domiciled in the ministry.
“I urge innovators to key into the provisions of the Committee for assistance.’’
In his contribution, Prof. Sonni Tyoden, the Deputy Governor of Plateau, said that with the current dwindling oil resources, Nigeria needed researchers who could add value to the society.
He commended the award recipients, adding that the issues they dealt with had societal demand.
According to him, the Plateau Government is willing to partner with IITRED in facilitating research that will solve the problems of society.
In his research presentation, Garba, who won the Outstanding Medical Research Prize with his entry on “Development and Production of Typhoid Fever Vaccine’’ said his work had undergone all necessary verifications.
He said he was waiting for the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to finish with the registration of the vaccine before he would commercialise it.
The IITRED President, Dr Sani Dawop, said the institute’s Research Award Committee, in consultation with other experts, found the three researchers’ works as excellent output in solving their target problems.
He said each of them was entitled to N500, 000 each by the institute
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