The Vice-Chancellor, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (UNAAB), Professor Oluwafemi Olaiya Balogun has described Biotechnology as an indispensable tool for national development.

He stated this at the Opening Ceremony of the 15th UNAAB Summer Course In Practical Biotechnology, titled “Basic Molecular Techniques for DNA and Protein Analysis” held in the University, recently.

Represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof Chryss Onwuka, the Vice-Chancellor noted that the Centre has since its inception trained over 500 Scientists from countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Benin Republic, Sierra-Leone, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Cameroun and Libya.

He also noted that the Centre has through the Course, attracted Resource Persons from Europe, and North America to assist in the training.

According to him, “Biotechnology has become an indispensable tool for development, thus Nigeria cannot afford to lag behind. It is useful in virtually all areas of development, including Agriculture, Medicine, Archeology, Natural Sciences and even Law.”

Revealing the rationale behind the establishment of Biotechnology Centre, he said, “Realizing the immense benefits that can accrue from Biotechnology, UNAAB found it necessary to establish this Centre to serve as a Central Laboratory for this University and to organize training for Scientists from underdeveloped countries.”

Earlier in his Opening Remarks, the Director, UNAAB Biotechnology Centre, Prof. Okanlawon Onagbesan congratulated the participants for making it to the training, stating that more than ninety applications were sent in, but only forty-five were shortlisted, having met all the requirements.

He advised the participants to use the opportunity to learn as much as they can. “You will learn as much as you can and you will always come back for more”, he added.

In his Remarks, the Director, Institute of Food Security, Environmental Resources and Agricultural Research (IFSERAR), Prof. Segun Osinowo disclosed that at the Institute, they equally know the importance of Biotechnology to food security and that is why they ensure that they send some of their members of staff to participate in the training.