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How to guarantee food security in Nigeria, by don

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Deputy Registrar, University of Benin, Mr. Sunny Omoregie Ogbemudia (left); the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration, Prof. Ikpomwonsa Omoruyi; His Royal Majesty, Ogurime Rime Ukori I, Ovie of Agbon Kingdom, the 227th Inaugural Lecture Series lecturer, Prof. Solomon Omonigho and Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academics, Prof. Mike Aziken at the lecture in Benin City.

To attain guarantee food security in the country, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) should carry out regular assessment of foods and ensure strict adherence to standards.

Professor of Food and Industrial Microbiology in the Department of Microbiology, University of Benin, Prof. Solomon Esharegoma Omonigho gave the charge in Benin City at the weekend.

He said to reduce diseases in tomato, pepper and garden eggs, application of NPK fertiliser and poultry organic manure with insecticide (Bentex-T) will reduce incidences and improve fruit yield and food security in the country.

Omonigho made the call while delivering the 227th Inaugural Lecture of the University of Benin, titled, “Food Security in Nigeria: The Role and Control of Unseen Entities,” where he also proffered solutions to attaining a secure food system in the country.

He said microbiology was a specialised area of biology that studies the forms, functions and environment of microorganisms.

He added that microorganisms as unseen entities exist in nature as microscopic single cells which could only be seen with the aid of a compound microscope with the exception of viruses that could only be seen with the aid of an electron microscope.

While stressing that food are rarely obtained in a sterile, uncontaminated form and free from microbes, he said, “Humans beings are in constant competition with microorganisms for the nutrients in foods. We must cage them because of their fast growth rates, which give them the winning edge leading to food damage.”

Omonigho recommended proper storage of food at the right temperature with good ventilation and in a dry environment, which he noted was ideal for good storage of foods, especially dried foods like garri, lafun, medicinal plant parts.

He added that liquid foods should be stored under refrigeration and freezing temperatures so as to control the proliferation of waste microorganisms.

Meanwhile, fire has destroyed property worth millions of naira at Santana Market on Benin Sapele Road in Ikpoba Okha Council Area of Edo State.

The Guardian learnt that that the fire started about 11pm in the market after traders had closed for the day.

Eyewitness account said the fire outbreak mightnot be unconnected with high power voltage that resulted in an explosion in one of the lock-up shops.

One of the shop owners at the market, Omoregie Solomon, said about 80 per cent of the shops were razed and goods worth millions of naira destroyed.

Solomon said he was unable to savage his goods, adding that those operating open shops that account for 95 per cent of the goods in the market were mostly affected.


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