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Economic Diversification: Don Harps on Potentials of African Giant Rats

Published On:

March 6, 2024

By Olasunkanmi Olajide & Joy Adeyiga

A significant call for economic diversification echoed through the halls of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) as Prof. Adebayo Akinloye, an esteemed figure in Veterinary Anatomy, delivered the University’s 87th Inaugural Lecture titled “The Magnum Opus of Reproductive Anatomy: The African Giant Rat and the Giant of Africa,” on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, at the Oluwafemi Balogun Ceremonial Building.

Prof. Akinloye emphasised the urgent need for Nigeria, hailed as the Giant of Africa, to move away from its dependency on oil and explore alternative avenues for economic growth.

He urged the nation to embrace diversification, fostering an environment conducive to the cultivation of new ideas and the generation of national revenue streams.

The 87th Inaugural Lecturer, Prof. Adebayo Akinloye presenting his Lecture to the audience

Photo credit: Gbolahan Lawal

In a surprising twist, he spotlighted the economic potential of the African Giant Rat as a promising avenue for bolstering the country’s economy.

According to Prof. Akinloye, the African Giant Rat possessed all the attributes necessary for domestication, presenting a lucrative opportunity for farmers and communities alike.

He advocated for increased collaboration among universities, particularly in disciplines such as Wildlife Management, Zoology, Animal Science, and Veterinary Medicine, to spearhead efforts in the domestication of these remarkable creatures.

Such endeavours, he argued, would not only diversify protein sources but also contribute to wildlife conservation efforts and enhance the income of micro-livestock farming communities.

The 87th Inaugural Lecturer revealed ongoing studies in various faculties and departments, including Forestry and Wildlife Management and the College of Veterinary Medicine at FUNAAB, focusing on the domestication of grasscutters, another potential source of economic growth.

Prof. Akinloye highlighted the sociological compatibility of the African Giant Rat with domesticated animals, underscoring its potential to overcome marketing limitations and become a valuable commodity in the agricultural sector.

He passionately advocated for the widespread domestication and multiplication of these creatures, complementing existing efforts in grasscutter domestication.

Cross-section of the Academic Procession during the Lecture

Earlier in his Address, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Babatunde Kehinde who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Development, Prof. Kola Adebayo, commended Prof. Akinloye for his groundbreaking research and unique perspective.

He lauded the Lecturer’s dedication to exploring overlooked areas of human endeavour and recognised the invaluable contributions of other scholars to the University’s academic community.

The 87th Inaugural Lecture at FUNAAB served not only as a platform for academic discourse but also as a catalyst for re-imagining Nigeria’s economic landscape, with the African Giant Rat emerging as an unlikely but promising symbol of potential prosperity.

Last Updated on March 12, 2024 by Olasunkanmi Olajide

Author

  • Olasunkanmi Olajide

    Mr. Olajide is a seasoned professional with over a decade of expertise in the fields of Public Relations, Media and Communications. He currently holds the position of Assistant Director, Media.

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