The University of Ibadan (UI) Ventures Limited has partnered A-Z Exhibition to organize 1st International Foods, Beverages, Drugs Fair and Exhibition scheduled to hold in October.
This was made known, on Wednesday during a press conference held at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre, in Ibadan.
While speaking, Mr Francis Akingbade, the Acting Managing Director, UI Ventures Limited, said that the event was aimed at bringing together government, manufacturers from the three sectors and financial support institutions.
“The conference will be an assemblage of Pharmaceutical companies, food producing and processing companies as well as beverage companies.
“The event will in all, highlight the progress that has been recorded in these sectoral industries and proffer new ideologies for their overall progress and development,” he said.
Akingbade said that the event would create a link between research works, local and foreign innovation as well as full-fledged production skills for increased yield.
He said that it would also explore the untapped vast employment opportunities in the three key sectors as well as food processing and allied arts.
Akingbade said that the event which was the first of its kind would hold in the academic environment of the premier school, University of Ibadan from October 16 to 22.
Among participants expected are relevant federal and state MDAs, international development agencies as well as agriculture and research institutions.
Others are related allied industries, professional advertisers and all related companies and traders from the three key sectors of the event.
Also speaking, Prof. Kolawole Falade from the Department of Food Technology, University of Ibadan(UI), said that the country has huge potentials for the average entrepreneur to grow the economy if given necessary support.
Falade described the supply chain of food and vegetables in Nigeria as very strong compared to other countries.
He said that the industry would continue to innovate and grow the country’s economy with financial support from the government as well as investors.
Dr Olayemi Adegbolagun from the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, UI, said that the quality of some imported drugs can’t match some locally produced drugs.
Adegbolagun, who is an analyst and teacher on counterfeit substandard products, said that she uses locally produced drugs more than imported ones
She said there were lots of herbal products that have prospects for development, but could not be harnessed due to lack of support.
Adegbolagun commended NAFDAC for doing their work excellently, urging the government to support local pharmaceutical industries to serve the nation’s health sector perfectly.
“Today, we have our bitter and Ugwu leaves been packaged abroad into capsules, and sold back to us. Government should assist our industries. Nigerians should also play their roles effectively,” she said.
Similarly, Prince Oluwarotimi Kolajo, a former General Manager, Nigerian Bottling Company(NBC), said that there was so much potentials in food and drugs
Kolajo, who spoke on Beverages, said Nigerian economy would witness positive turnaround if government has the will to support MSMEs.
He stressed that so many good ideas die in the country due to lack of support from government and investors, saying there is future in food and drugs.
“What is wrong with Nigeria in terms of growing businesses? Unfriendly policies that requires you to donate your arm and legs to run a company for two years.
“Government should create friendly policies for businesses to thrive. The success of the economy is not in the hands of government alone.
“Nigerians shouldn’t wait for government in the area of financing. They can seek finance from private investors. The future is Agriculture,” he said.