Professor Ogbe: A Chemical Engineer for Biotechnology Development

Born on July 7, 1955 in Idofin-Isanlu, Kogi State, Bamidele Ogbe Solomon the current Director General of Nigeria’s National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Nigeria is a Professor of Chemical Engineering.

Solomon attended ECWA Secondary School, Mopa, Kogi State, 1968-1972; Federal Government College, Sokoto, 1973-1974 and Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, U.S.A. 1975 – 1983. An academic and a professional he had his PhD in Chemical Engineering in  July 1983. His areas of specialization his chemical/ and biochemical engineering.

The scholar had an interesting career progression in the academic circle starting as Temporary Instructor, Kansas State University, U.S.A. 1980 – 1983 before doing his National Youth Service Corps. 1983 -1984. He later became a Lecturer in Chemical Engineering, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria from 1984 to 1994 before moving to the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria as Associate Lecturer in Biochemical Engineering (Genetic Engineering) from 1989 – 1992.

NABDA is an agency under the aegis of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, as an institutional framework for implementing the National Biotechnology Policy. Its specific mandates are to coordinate, promote and regulate all biotechnology activities in the country with a view to making available this cutting-edge technology for the promotion of a healthy environment, ensuring national food security and providing affordable health care delivery as well as the alleviation of poverty.

The agency’s vision is to use biotechnology to contribute to a healthy economic development in Nigeria as well as to promote biotechnology activities that positively respond to national aspiration on food security, job/wealth creation, affordable health care delivery and sustainable environment.

Professor Solomon had worked in various academic institutions. He was a Guest Researcher in Process Modeling and Parameter Estimation at GBF (National Institute for Biotechnology), Braunschweig, Germany from January,1992 till August,1994; conducted preliminary fermentation runs on Genetically Engineered Yeasts at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa in 1995; Associate Lecturer in Chemical Engineering at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology 1995-2004; Vice-Dean, Faculty of Technology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria 2000 and later appointed Head, Chemical Engineering Department, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology.

It was in November 2005 that he was appointed as the Director-General, National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Abuja and since being the boss of the agency.

As an accomplished academic he had several research publications and books to his credit some of them include: Microbial conversion of grain dust to useful products, Statistical Estimation of Yield and Maintenance parameters Associated with Microbial growth, Analysis and Consistency of Experimental Data for Microbial Growth on Renewable Resources, Stability of cereal Protein during Microbial Growth on Grain Dust among others.

In the course of his academic pursuits and endeavours he has received several awards and distinctions: They include Scholar of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to study Chemical Engineering in USA; Post-graduate Fellowship of Department of Chemical Engineering, Kansas State University, USA and Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung Research Fellowship in the Federal Republic of Germany. He was awarded an equipment grant of DM44,000.00 by AVH in 1994; awarded a research grant of $10,600.00 by the International Foundation for Science, Sweden, 1994; Awarded a Fellowship by the South African Government Research Council to conduct preliminary fermentation runs on Genetically Engineered Yeasts at the University of Stellenbosch, in 1995; Received the Academic Star Award for being the best Male Student of ECWA Secondary School, Mopa, Kogi State and Merit Gold Award of Economy Empowerment Initiator from Community Talk Newspaper.

He had also consulted for several organizations including Mobil Producing Nigeria and NNPC, International Brewery Limited, Ilesha, Chevron, Nigeria Society of Chemical Engineers, Bureau for Public Enterprises and various ministries include that of Solid Minerals, Environment and Science and Technology and Games Village during COJA, Abuja 2003.

Professor Solomon is happily married to Florence Anike Solomon and has children and a granddaughter.

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