In an historic milestone, Director General Nteranya Sanginga on 9 March, made a presentation before the joint sitting of the Senate Committee and House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture, House of Assembly, Abuja. For the first time in its almost 50 years of existence, IITA was invited by the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development to speak about IITA and its work. The DG’s presentation was titled “Repositioning IITA for impact in Nigeria.” The purpose of the visit was to interact with the lawmakers for better collaboration between the Institute and the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Senator Abdullahi Adamu, Chair, Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, in his remarks, said “This government can only succeed if research is there. Research is fundamental to our success… IITA is all about research.” Sen Adamu was reacting to the DG’s presentation, which made a case for agriculture as a strategic driver of development in Nigeria.
In his concluding statement, Sen Adamu raised a wake-up call: “We must go back to agriculture! IITA is an institute that can greatly impact our efforts to improve the agricultural sector…” The senator had visited IITA for the first time in 2012 during a workshop organized with IITA Goodwill Ambassador, former President Olasegun Obasanjo.
The IITA contingent consisted of DG Sanginga, Deputy Director General Kenton Dashiell, Alfred Dixon (Partnerships Coordination Office), Gbassey Tarawali (Outreach Coordinator, Abuja Station), Toyin Oke (RMPEL), Ayo Omopaola (IT Officer, Abuja), Bode Olaoluwa (Communication Office), Thereza Agada Ene (IYA), and Abe Baggi Zaccheaus Isuw.