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  • Updated: September 14, 2022

Two Scientific Works Win NLNG’s $100,000 Nigeria Prize For Science

Two exceptional scientific works have earned the $100,000 Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd. (NLNG) prize, according to the jury for the Nigeria Prize for Science.

At a news conference on Wednesday in Lagos, Prof. Barth Nnaji, a former minister of power and chair of the prize's advisory board, announced the winner.

The NLNG-organised event's 2022 edition's topic is "Innovations in Sustainable Food Security."

For the 2022 edition of the Nigeria Prize for Science, the jury received 107 entries from scientists all over the world.

The winning entries were chosen by a panel of judges chaired by Prof. Christian Agbo from the Department of Agriculture at the University of Nigeria Nsukka.

Funke Opeke, the CEO of MainOne, and Prof. Mohammed Magaji, a professor in the department of agronomy at Usman Danfodiyo University in Sokoto, were also present on the panel.

Nnaji cited "Gains in Grain Yield of Released Maize (Zea Mays L.) Cultivars in Drought and Well-Watered Conditions" by Muhydideen Oyekunle and Shehu Ado as one of the notable works.

He said that the second one was on: “Development of Process Plant for Plantain Flour” by Sesan Ayodeji and Emmanuel Olatomilola.

He said that the 100,000 USD top prize will be divided between the two teams.

The chairman responded to the judges' report by stating that the works addressed food security, a crucial issue on the national agenda.

According to him, the projects were in keeping with target two of the Sustainable Development Goals, which aimed to promote food security and find lasting solutions to end all forms of hunger by 2030.

Nnaji added that the judges' selection demonstrated a multidisciplinary approach appropriate to the issue under consideration.

According to him, the advisory board was especially happy that the judge's evaluation of the submissions upheld the goals of the award, which sought to recognise and encourage excellence in the application of scientific knowledge.

“Muhyideen Oyekunle, a Maize Breeder and Prof. Shehu Ado, an Agricultural Expert’s work on: “Gains in Grain Yield of Released Maize (Zea Mays L.) Cultivars under Drought and Well-Watered Conditions” provides us with a unique opportunity.

“The maize seeds they selected courtesy of a breeding programme have been tested to be high yielding and water stress tolerant.

”Prof. Sesan Ayodeji, from the Federal University of Technology, Akure and his colleague, Mr Emmanuel Olatomilola’s work on “Development of Process Plant for Plantain Flour” is important for reducing spoilage of farm products and package for distribution as well as a value addition for farm products, “he said.

The advisory chairman praised the NLNG board and management for founding, supporting, and continuing to award what was arguably the largest science prize in Africa.

The science prize was strengthening, according to Andy Odeh, general manager of NLNG's external relations and sustainable development division, in his remarks.

Odeh stated that the reward was being reviewed for greater effect and inclusivity for the benefit of society by the advisory board and NLNG.

He argued that research could address the majority of the nation's problems, and he urged the general public to continue supporting NLNG through the Nigeria Prize for Science.

He pointed out that stakeholders might do this by making scientific advancements in Nigeria's biggest development facilitator, and he said that business and public investors should take the winning works' economic value into account.

The general manager praised the prizewinners for their outstanding achievement and urged all previous winners to collaborate and establish a think tank that could produce and maintain a stream of ideas, innovation, and scientific guidance for both the public and private sectors.

In accordance with the organization's vision, he continued, this would make scientific discoveries and advances useful to the populace and contribute to the development of a better Nigeria.

Odeh continued by saying that the winning projects have the ability to greatly improve the nation's food security through a reliable, effective, and ample food production system.

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