Five scientists win NLNG science prize


Five scientists have emerged as joint winners of the Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) $100,000 Prize for Science.

The Chairman of the Advisory Board for the NLNG Science Prize, Professor Akpoveta Susu, made the announcement at a press conference organised by the Nigeria LNG Limited, in Lagos on Thursday.

Susu said that the winners, whose research works were selected from 27 entries were recognised for their innovative work in the field of malaria.

NLNG Science Prize Winners’ Works

Ikeoluwapo Ajayi, Ayodele Jegede and Bidemi Yusuf were recognised as joint winners for their research work titled,  “Improving Home and Community Management of Malaria: Providing the Evidence Base” while  Olugbenga Mokuolu won for his work titled, “Multifaceted Efforts at Malaria Control in Research: Management of Malaria of Various Grades.

Chukwuma Agubata emerged as a winner for his work titled, “Novel Lipid Microparticles for Effective Delivery of Artemether Antimalarial Drug using a Locally-Sourced Irvingia Fat from Nuts of Irvingia Gabonensis var Excelsa (Ogbono)”.

NLNG Science Prize Winners’ Profiles findings show that four of the five winners are of the University of Ibadan (UI). Only Agubata is of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN).

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Dr Ikeoluwapo Ajayi serves as an Associate Professor in the Institute of Medical Research and Training, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan. She is an author of over 20 papers in Epidemiology and Biostatistics Research.

Professor Ayodele Jegede belongs to the Department of Sociology, UI. His research interests are in Cultural Anthropology and Medical Anthropology.

Professor Olugbenga Mokuolu has attained global acclaim for his works  on malaria and paediatrics.

Dr Bidemi Yusuf is of the Epidemiology and Medical Statistics department in the UI. Her research interests are in Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics.

Dr Chukwuma Agubata is a lecturer in Department of Pharmaceutical Technology and Industrial Pharmacy, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN). He has a PhD in Pharmaceutical Technology and Industrial Pharmacy from the University. His research interest is in the area of Pharmaceutical Formulations and drug delivery.

Prize to reinvigorate the passion of our budding scientists

Susu said, “We acknowledge the difficulties associated with scientific research in developing countries including Nigeria, where infrastructure deficit could deal a debilitating challenge.

“Our hope is that the award of this prize would in its own little way provide a spark that would reinvigorate the passion of our budding scientists in finding solutions to our everyday issues.”

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“We congratulate the winners for a job well done and for achieving this feat in the midst of an impressive array of entries. This is indeed a call to do more so that the identified potentials could be realised,” he stated.

Susu stated that while malaria was the focus of this year’s edition, innovations in the power sector has been adopted as the theme of the 2018 science prize.

Winning entries had addressed salient issues and challenges

The NLNG General Manager, External Relations, Kudo Eresia-Eke, who commended the judges’ assessment, said the winning entries had addressed salient issues and challenges facing malaria treatment and control in Nigeria.

He said, “This is a great milestone for the people of Nigeria and Africa. Firstly, we finally have a winner for the Science Prize and secondly, we have some commendable research works that have contributed significantly to the body of knowledge on the disease and even provide some interesting opportunities for local approach to defeating malaria.

“The hard work must not stop. The winners will need support to translate this to real benefits for Nigerians. We are calling on the government and corporate Nigeria to support this initiative and bring it to life.”

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