AU-IAPSC Director visits IITA-Abuja ahead of International Plant Health Conference
As part of preparations for the forthcoming International Plant Health Conference to be held in Nigeria 21-25 October 2019, the Director of the Africa Union-Inter Africa Phytosanitary Council (AU-IAPSC), Dr Jean Gérard Mezui M’ella, paid a courtesy visit to IITA Abuja Station on 16 May. His visit aimed to ascertain the level of IITA’s preparedness to conduct a field tour during the conference.
The Head of IITA-Abuja Station, Gbassey Tarawali, received the Director, who was with senior officials from the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS). He told the visitors about the long-standing collaboration and partnerships between IITA and the NAQS.
The NAQS Director of Plant Quarantine, Mr Obaje John Abah, on his third visit to the Station this year in preparation for the conference, agreed that IITA and NAQS have had a long-standing relationship over the years. He went on to highlight key areas where IITA, through Dr Lava Kumar, has supported the Service with the provision and installation of laboratory equipment.
On his part, the AU-IAPSC Director informed attendees that IITA will be part of the Conference Steering Committee and would be hosting about 35 international delegates and numerous other national participants.
Dr Mezui M’ella explained that he was in Nigeria to meet with critical stakeholders and follow up on issues surrounding immigration clearance, logistics, and other arrangements that need to be made for the conference. He praiseded IITA for the cutting-edge technologies being developed by the Institute to transform African agriculture and appealed to the Head of Station and all IITA Staff to put the good image of the Institute on display at the event.
Partners from NAQS had visited IITA-Abuja Station twice recently in preparation for the Conference that will be held in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.