THE INTERNATIONAL BIOTECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE, EXHIBITION AND WORKSHOP (IBCE&W 2018) ORGANIZED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, WHICH TOOK PLACE AT COVENANT UNIVERSITY CENTRE FOR RESEARCH, INNOVATION AND DEVELOPMENT, MARCH 11-13, 2018
The theme Biotechnological Innovations: Panacea to Sustainable Development of this year’s conference and the subthemes were chosen after careful considerations to help point the way towards the need for us to take the bull by the horn and begin to come up with ground breaking and innovative researches in every aspects of biotechnology that cannot be ignored nor put on the library shelves or archived away in a vault but such types upon which a thriving and sustainable economy can be built.
This prestigious yearly event has become an excellent platform to rally scientists, academics, researchers, industry representatives, budding researchers and other professionals who are engaged in biotechnological researches to share their experiences, ideas and research findings, in other to encourage collaborations between individual researchers and corporate biotechnology organizations to solve pressing national and global challenges.
This conference was hosted for the third year running in collaboration with the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) and this has served as a bridge for the Department of Biological Sciences, Covenant University to take the gown to town.
As Covenant University works towards the VISION 10:2022 with the RECITE Agenda (“Research is our responsibility, Citation and Innovation leading to Income, while Teaching is our goal”), the goal of the Department is to employ biotechnological innovations to solve the diverse human problems especially in Africa and be part of those to re-write the history of the black race and IBCEW is one of such platform upon which we intend to do that.
At the close for call for abstracts, 56 quality abstracts cutting across different aspect of biotechnological researches (environmental, food, health and industrial) were accepted for presentation, majority of which were for oral presentation and six of these were for poster presentation. About thirty-five of the accepted abstracts were eventually presented during the technical sessions.
We had an assemblage of eminent scientists as our invited speakers. These include the Keynote speaker - Prof Benjamin Ubi (President, Biotechnology Society of Nigeria); Plenary speaker 1 – Prof Lawrence Ikechukwu Ezemonye (Fmr Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Benin); Plenary speaker 2 – Prof Adesola Ajayi (Dean, Faculty of Science, Augustine University and Immediate Past HOD, Biological Sciences, CU); Plenary speaker 3 – Prof Louis Egwari (Director, Biotechnology Centre, CU) and Plenary speaker 4 – Dr Toyosi Raheem (Immediate Past President of AMLSN).
The Keynote address, Biotechnological Innovations: Panacea to Sustainable Development was presented by Prof. Benjamin Ubi (President, Biotechnological Society of Nigeria). In his presentation he gave various definitions of biotechnology which involves the use of living systems and organisms to develop or make products. He emphasized that Biotechnology is an important process that can be used to improve the country’s economy, in food production and processing, manufacturing, health and medicine. He encouraged that more of biotechnological researches should be carried out to meet the demands of the teeming population of which its contribution to food security cannot be over emphasized.
The session ended with questions and contributions from the participants, which the Speaker succinctly gave answers to.
Prof Shalom Chinedu, on his part, congratulated every participant for being a part of the conference and reminded everyone of the forthcoming Biotechnology Society of Nigeria (BSN) conference which Covenant University will be hosting. He encouraged continuous work and hoped that in the next conference there will have been products to show. He declared the conference adjourned.
Dr Gabriel Dedeke, in his vote of thanks, was grateful for the wonderful experience despite a few hitches, and attributed the success of the conference to the committee’s reliance on the grace of God rather than on the individual or collective capabilities of the members of the organizing committee. He praised the committee members, calling them an ‘excellent team with beautiful minds’. He thanked Dr Grace Olasehinde for being a wonderful leader and for the trust that she reposed in him, regardless of his ‘outsider’ status as an academic on sabbatical leave at the university. He pledged his commitment to the department even though his sabbatical has ended. He thanked the chancellor, Dr David Oyedepo, for ‘lending himself to the Lord’ and for creating an enabling and remarkable environment, Covenant University, where such conference as this took place; the amiable and forthright Vice-Chancellor for providing excellent leadership to the University as a whole and for giving the approval for this conference. He thanked the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for being a gentle giant and providing great leadership for the University. He thanked all participants, Faculty, staff, and postgraduate students for their contributions and involvement. The presentations at the conference he described as beautiful and up to international standard.