The panel of judges for The Nigeria Prize for Science has received the entries from scientists worldwide for the 2022 edition, signalling the commencement of the race to find a winner with the best scientific or research work on the theme “Innovations in Sustainable Food Security.”
The prize, worth $100,000, is sponsored by Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG). At the hand-over ceremony in Lagos, the Advisory Board for the prize, chaired by Professor Barth Nnaji, handed over 107 entries to the judges, headed by Professor Christian Ugwu Agbo.
The theme “Innovations in Sustainable Food Security” was carried over from the 2020/2021cycle into the 2022 cycle after a no-winner decision by the judges.
Speaking at the ceremony, NLNG’s General Manager for External Relations and Sustainable Development, Mr. Andy Odeh, represented by the Acting Manager, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, Mrs Anne-Marie Palmer-Ikuku, said the need to find some scientific approach to attaining sustainable food security is critical to the country’s survival. He stated that the trending forecast shows there may be severe food challenges waiting to implode.
Mr. Odeh stated scientists were needed now, more than ever in the country’s history, to wade off a food crisis that would negatively impact sustainable development goals.
“NLNG is very keen on ensuring that The Nigeria Prize for Science creates opportunities for positive impact in all spheres of life in Nigeria. This is why we are taking continuous improvement steps to revitalise and rekindle the drive for development and to build a better Nigeria, in line with our Company’s vision,” he said.
Handing the entries to the judges, Professor Nnaji said the science prize was an opportunity to change the narrative about the country’s development. He stated that the state of the nation mirrors the state of science and scientific research in the country. He challenged the judges to remain resolute and focused on excellence, sound research, and innovation.
The chairman of the panel of judges, Professor Agbo, is a professor in the Department of Agriculture at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Other members on the panel are Ms Funke Opeke and Prof Mohammed Magaji. Ms. Opeke is an experienced telecommunications executive and the founder/CEO of MainOne while Professor Magaji is a professor of Agronomy at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto.
On the prize’s Advisory Board, in addition to Professor Nnaji, are Chief Dr. Nike Akande, a two-time minister and former President Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and Professor Yusuf Abubakar, a professor of Animal Breeding and Quantitative Genetics and the Coordinator of Agriculture Group, R & D Standing Committee, at the Tertiary Education Trust Fund.