By Jeffrey Adaralegbe, Nigeria.
Encomiums from all over the world on a Scholar, “Professor Babajide Olufemi Elemo, Ph.D.; FNIFST: FIPAN, Professor of Food and Nutritional Biochemistry of Lagos State University (LASU), OJO being described as the “great pride of LASU, receives the appointment of the most revered Distinguished Professor from the Lagos State University, LASU.
Following the approval of the Governing Council of the University, Elemo, an academic who is said to have been recognized for his outstanding performance and contribution in sustenance of excellence in teaching, research works, scholarship and advancement of knowledge in the field of biochemistry globally especially in Lagos State University and Nigeria.
In retrospect of some of his interventions; Elemo was awarded 7.5 million Naira by the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Abuja in 2005 for his research on Thaumatin, a protein that is 3,000 times sweeter than sugar, found in the fruit produced by the plant whose leaf is used locally for wrapping “moin-moin”. Another 3.0 million Naira grant for his research and innovation in contribution to the fight against COVID-19 and Health Management by an Awarding Body, Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC) in 2020.
The University Don, who was the first lecturer employed in the Department of Biochemistry almost 40 years ago, is setting a pace and blazing the trail in the history of the Biochemistry Department of LASU, and Nigeria. Some of the students he mentored are now professors in different countries, three of whom are in the Biochemistry Department, LASU. Apart from the trooping for the Convocation, it is also noteworthy that notable personalities in the discipline of Food and Nutrition as well as former students whom he has mentored graced the Occasion.
Moreover, the significance of the Award of Distinguished Professor awarded to Professor Elemo is to recall the Unicef January 2023 report that 25 million Nigerians are at high risk of food insecurity in 2023; which is a projected increase from the estimated 17 million people currently at risk of food insecurity. Continued conflict, climate change, inflation and rising food prices are key drivers of this alarming trend. Food access has been affected by persistent violence in the north-east states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) and armed banditry and kidnapping in states such as Katsina, Sokoto, Kaduna, Benue and Niger, is for the Nigeria to pay more attention to Food and Nutrition Sciences, as well as the scientists like Elemo and the likes.
Furthermore, It is on record that in the history of LASU the Senate of the University has also conferred the title of Distinguished Professor on another respected and accomplished academic in the University, Professor Dapo Folorunsho ASAJU of the department of Religious. Here is congratulating the two scholars for exemplary contribution to human development.