The 227th inaugural lecture of the University of Benin, delivered by Prof. Solomon Esharegoma Omonigho; A Professor of Food and Industrial Microbiology, was held on the 17th of October, 2019, at the Akin–Deko Main Auditorium of the University Main Campus, Ugbowo. The lecture was under the distinguished chairmanship of the Vice Chancellor, University of Benin, Professor F.F.O Orumwense (FNSE).
The event captured guests from diverse walks of life. Present were the principal officers, headed by the Vice Chancellor represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), Prof. Ikponwnsa Omoruyi, Provost, Deans and Directors of various faculties, Emeritus Professors and Professors, palace chiefs, family, Friends and well wishers of the inaugural lecturer.
The event started following the introduction of the inaugural lecturer, Prof. Solomon Omonigho, by the Vice Chancellor.
Prof. Omonigho began his lecture by giving a general overview of the concept of Microbiology, as it explores the use of micro organisms in making a wide variety of food, Medical, manufacturing and Agricultural products.
He stated that food production and packaging in Nigeria are faced with lots of challenges, thereby making it impossible for the masses to be secured in their day to day life. “Unseen entities which are Micro organisms play very vital role in the security of our food from the production stage to processing and finally consumption of these foods”, he revealed.
Adding that the environment, which include air, water, and soil, from whence these food are obtained are regularly been contaminated as a result of anthropogenic activities.
He recommended proper storage at the right temperature with good ventilation in a dry environment as very necessary for food security, as well as cleaning of food processing industrial plants. He revealed that environment with proper disposal of waste generated, would improve the quality of our food. Prof. Omonigho also recommended that there should be regular assessment of our food and appropriate standards should be made by Standard Organisation such as SON and to be monitored by the food and drug watchdog NAFDAC.
In conclusion, he stated that unseen entities are in constant association with our food production systems leading to contamination of our foods including raw materials used for their production.
Highpoint of the event was the decoration of the inaugural lecturer into the Inaugural Lecture Hall of Fame.