Management of Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service, NAQS, expanding the
the base of its workforce identified IITA as a resource base for building the
knowledge and surveillance capacity of its newly recruited staff. NAQS led a
one-hundred-member team of newly recruited staff to be trained by IITA GHU on
17 April as part of a 3-week induction course for the incoming NAQS staff.
Oguntade Oluwole, IITA GHU Laboratory Manager, welcomed the team annotating
the vital and cordial relationship IITA shares with NAQS. He encouraged the newly recruited
staff to leverage the same and harness the opportunity in the relationship.
“You have every right to knock on our doors for any resource or help you need,
even after your training here today,” he continued.
Lava Kumar, Head of IITA GHU, gave a summarized introduction to germplasm,
health, virology, and diagnostics of plant pests and diseases. He said that
IITA’s research, breeding, testing, dissemination, and conservation activities
necessitate transboundary movements of plant materials. “It is imperative to
transfer healthy and pest-free materials as we move our plant products and
materials from country to country, and even within countries.” NAQS has
provided certifications and partnership collaborations that hasten and
facilitate IITA’s plant materials’ imports and exports. Speaking more directly
to the recruited staff, Lava encouraged the trainees to protect Nigeria and the
world from plant pests and diseases that can consequently threaten food
Ogunfunmilayo Akindele, Head of Post-entry, Diagnostic and Surveillance
Station, Moor Plantation, thanked Kumar and his staff for hosting the
team. He urged the staff to make the most of the knowledge gained during their
training program in IITA.
Contributed by Anu Oyeleye