NiWARD Directory

NiWARD Directory

NiWARD Steering Committee

 Mrs Medinat Oluwatoyin Adetunji is an Agricultural Economics/Extension and Community Development expert and  currently a Doctoral Student of Public Policy and Administration. She has over 29 years experience at Technical and policy levels e.g. Technical Adviser, (Cassava Value Chain) to the Minister of agriculture (2011-2015). National Programme Officer- National Special Programme for Food Security,  Special Assistant to President Olusegun Obasanjo  and President Umoru  Yar’dua. Agricultural extension officer and Head Rural Institution Development, Lagos state Agricultural Development Programme (1988-2003). She’s currently, the Consultant Cassava Value Chain (AfDB) in Liberia.




Bolanle Aishat Akinwande is a Professor in the Department of Food Science and Engineering, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Oyo State. She served as the pioneer Director of Quality Assurance Unit of the institution. Her passion is to address issues relating to access to healthy foods by rural poor. Bolanle Akinwande has demonstrated this through community outreach programs to train farm families on utilization options for crops for health and wealth initiatives. She led multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary project and has mentored younger researchers and academia at formal and informal levels.




Dr Joy I. Odimegwu is currently working on drug discovery and development of natural products compounds, building extract libraries of African medicinal and food plants and establishment of gene banks (cell cultures, cDNA, tissues etc) of high value but neglected plants towards discovery of lead pharmaceutical compounds for treatment and management of gynaecological cancers and microbial resistance. Phytochemistry studies; elucidation, isolation and characterization studies , Bioactivity guided assays ( HPLC, IR, GC/MS, LCMS, NMR) of bioactive agents from medicinal plants and fungi with diverse spectral methods. Standardization of African medicinal plant products to Pharmacopeial levels.




 Dr Omo Ohiokpehai is a nutritionist, agro-processor and a value chain specialist with more than thirty years of experience in agro-processing and nutrition fields and a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (FNIFST); promoting nutrition-sensitive-agriculture, nutrition and food security. Omo has significant food security, drought relief and nutrition intervention experiences with the governments of Botswana, Kenya and Nigeria. In recent times Omo was Consultant and Technical Adviser to former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, 2011-2015. In Nigeria, from 1972 to 1982, Omo served as a Trainee Research Officer to Principal Scientist at the Cereal Research Institute, Moorplanation, Ibadan, Nigeria where she was involved in cereals and legume utilisation and nutrition education. She was also a lecturer at the Faculty of Agriculture, Home Economis Unit, University of Ife, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, Further she was the Research Coordinator for North Brewery PLC, Kano, Nigeria. At North Brewery, Omo was charged with fast tracking the change over of the processing of alcoholic drinks to non-alcoholics to improve nutrition, because Kano Brewery was built in a staunch muslim state. Omo’s work focused on training and developt of nutritious foods for all ages and health education, food quality, food safety and hygiene, and food processing training to support income generation for women and youths and school children at USAID-IYCN program. Also, I was the Team Leader for the introduction of IYCF at the Community and Facility training package for information sharing. She conducts demand-driven research for development on technologies which contributes to better nutrition and wellness and food security by reducing postharvest losses, maintaining quality of finished products. She led the Sorghum Transformation Value Chain Team under the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) and established a multidiscilinary program with the use of sorghum to scale-up-nutrition (SUN), in the conflict and difficult areas of the north of Nigeria. Omo advised the Minister of Agriculture on matters relating to improvement of productivity, nutrition and processing, school feeding and the Transformative Partnership for High Energy Foods. In Botswana, Omo was managing the successful Botswana country’s school feeding program.




Dr. Oredipe, Ph.D (Agric Economics). Worked for 24 years in Federal Civil Service as Agricultural Officer and National Coordinator of the Second National Fadama Development Project (FADAMA II and the ADB funded Multinational Nerica Rice Dissemination Project. He was the Senior Operation Officer in the World Bank, 2009-2011. He served as Senior Technical Adviser to the Honourable Minister of Agriculture during 2011 to 2013. He is presently the Senior Agriculture Economist at the World Bank with responsibility for the Fadama Additional Financing and Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme projects.




Happiness Oselebe is a professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics in the Department of Crop Production & Landscape Management, Faculty of Agriculture & Natural Resources Management, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Nigeria. She received her B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Her research interest is in the development of improved crop varieties that are economically efficient and sustainable, both in quality and yield, especially under limiting environments. Currently, Happiness is exploring the development of drought tolerant rice varieties for water stressed environments; the generation of rice hybrids with resistance/tolerance to African Rice Gall Midge, as well as improving identified farmers’ landrace genotype prior to release as new variety. She is collaborating with International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) on a funded breeding project for increased yam productivity and quality in West Africa’. She has also worked on ethnobotany of traditional leafy vegetables with some publications to that effect. She is an AWARD (African Women in Agricultural Research & Development) Fellow a Norman E. Borlaug Fellow for Women in Science and also a Fellow of the African Plant Breeding Academy. Happiness pioneered the incorporation of her own seed company – Strategic Seeds Nigeria Limited and works with her own trained seed outgrowers for the production of certified seeds. Happiness has a passion for working with smallholder farmers, building their capacities and enhancing their production and income level and in effect their livelihood. She is happily married with children and her hobbies include sports, reading novels and traveling.



Dr Bolanle Otegbayo is an Associate Professor in the Department of Food Science & Technology Bowen University, Iwo. She obtained a B.Sc in Food Science and Technology from Obafemi Awolowo University.  She holds M.Sc and Ph.D degrees in Food Technology from the University of Ibadan. Her area of specialization is Food Chemistry. She did her Postdoctoral training at CIRAD, Montpelier, France in 2012. She was the first AWARD fellow to be hosted by Agropolis Fondation, France at CIRAD and INRA, France. As a Food Chemist, the thrust of her research has been on identification of determinants of food quality in Yam in order to enhance its utilization both industrially and at home-level. Her research works over the years have led to publications in reputable international and local Journals and cited in renowned scientific databases and search engines. Findings from her food quality research on yam are now being used by yam breeders to select and evaluate their breeding lines for food quality.  They have also won her international recognitions leading to grants and awards.


NiWARD Mentors and Mentees

 Omolara Titilayo Aladesanmi holds a doctoral degree in Ecology and Environmental Science from the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Studies, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, where she lectures. Her research interest is in the areas of Bioremediation, Eco-toxicology and Environmental Policy. She is a Certified Mentor, having over 10 years experience in Career mentoring for young girls. She has won numerous grants and fellowships. She was a Visiting Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, California, US in 2015. She has published research articles in reputable journals and has attended a number of conferences. Dr. Aladesanmi is happily married with lovely kids.


Dr Ebinimi Joe Ansa is an Assistant Director, Research at Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR) where she conducts research on fin and shellfish culture and ecobiology. She is a member of the Aquaculture Working Group of African Union -InterAfrican Bureau of Animal Resources. Dr Ansa served as Editor of Nigerian Journal of Fisheries from 2010 to 2016. She is passionate about training farmers and entrepreneurs in sustainable income generating agribusinesses along value chains. She is currently building Aquaculture Villages in Bayelsa State, in her capacity as Special Adviser to the Governor on Aquaculture and Fisheries.


 Agnes Asagbra  graduated from the University of Lagos, with Bachelor of Science degree from the Department of Biological sciences. She obtained her Masters and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Degrees at the Department of Microbiology, University of Benin and University of Ibadan respectively. She is presently a director at the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO). She is an AWARD mentor. Asagbra has published 31 Technical Journal articles; 3 Books, and 16 Conference proceedings. She is also food safety consultant and auditor.


Togonu-Bickersteth (FIH, UK), a Food Technologist and Hospitality Consultant is a Senior lecturer in the Hospitality and Food Science department in Wavecrest School of hospitality, Surulere, Lagos State. She specialises in Food Science and hospitality courses, and coordinates gender responsive culinary courses. She is also  involved in hospitality training programs; and Entrepreneurial skills training and start-ups,  soft skills trainings such as-  customer service skills, teamwork, presentation skills, leadership skills and  mentoring/coaching. She has since worked in the capacity of trainer/lecturer, and spent many years giving sessions on Hospitality and Tourism related courses, Food safety, social etiquette, and other soft skills. She is an AWARD fellow, and so involved in gender inclusive research and development projects and mentoring/role modelling activities with other AWARD Fellows; linked to capacity building of girls , and promoting careers in Agriculture; and utilisation of  Agricultural products in hospitality and beyond; to better the life of gender inclusive, smallholder farmers connected with domestic homes and the Hospitality industry operations. She is the assistant secretary of the Hospitality and Tourism association of Nigeria( HATMAN) and a fellow of the Institute of Hospitality, UK.


Rufina Chukwualume is a staff of Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), Abuja. Currently works as a Chief Agricultural Research Officer (CARO). Heads the Product Development Division (PDD) of Coordination of Technical Research Programme (CTR-P). She is a product of the following Universities: Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), 1992 with B.Sc. Food Science & Technology; University of Abuja, 2010 (M.Sc. Microbiology) and Stellenbosch University, South Africa 2016 (PhD Food Sciece). She is a 2013 AWARD Fellow. Member of Nigerian Institue of Food Science and Technology (NIFST), Member, National Food Safety Management Committee (NFSMC) and NiWARD-ARCN Chapter Coordinator. Her research areas are (Postharvest loss reduction and management through food processing/value addition, Food Safety and risk assessment, Food Traceability and Neglected and underutilised species)


Binta Iliyasu holds a Doctorate degree in Biochemistry and is a Fellow of the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (2014 AWARD) and Beahrs Environmental Leadership Program (2015 ELP). She is the Principal Research Officer and Acting Zonal Officer, Nigerian Institute for Trypanosomiasis Research (NITR) North Central, Vom, and 25 years of research experience in the development of effective control against two economically important rural diseases -African trypanosomiasis (known as sleeping sickness in humans and sammore in animals) and onchocerciasis (river blindness). She conducted surveillance, socio-economic impacts (both diseases and vectors); possible reservoir hosts (trypanosomiasis only), screening, and evaluation of ethno pharmaceuticals/ethno practices in the prevention, treatment or management of the diseases; published a number of articles in peer reviewed journals. Her current research centres on the use of advances in biotechnology for the development of DNA vaccine against African trypanosomiasis to reduce economic losses. She is a role model and advocate for Girl-child education and women empowerment in Northern Nigeria, engaging in both national and international collaborations. She is also a Member of Nigerian Women in Agricultural Research for Development (NiWARD) and other international and local professional Associations.



Kehinde Ouwasayo Moyib (Ph.D) is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Chemical Science, Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, PMB 2118, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, Nigeria. Obtained B. Sc. (1997), M. Sc. (2000), M. Phil. (2005), and Ph. D (2010) in Biochemistry from University of Ibadan. Area of specialization is Food and Agricultural Biochemistry. Research interest is using the tools of biotechnology and bioinformatics for food security, food safety, safe environment and improved health for betterment of Nigerian populace, African continent and the world at large.



Mrs Ngozi Oguguah has a B.Sc. in Zoology/Biochemistry, M.Sc. in Fisheries Biology and  is currently enrolled at the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) Enugu State, Nigeria for a Ph.D. in Marine Pollution. She is a researcher with Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research Lagos, Nigeria. She is a member of Glassbreakers. She is actively involved in the Global Impact program of World Pulse, she also serves as a mentor in Cherie Blair foundation, African Changemakers Mentorship Program (ACMentorship) and she is a 2014 African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) fellow. Her team won the 2016 Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography Global Initiative grant for practical skills transfer to undergraduate students, physico-chemical and biological parameters as an indication of Lagos lagoon health status. Winner Pure Earth Small Grants 2016. She is involved in Coastal Cleanup Nigeria campaign through which we advocate for trash free seas and waterways.She is also a member of Safe Planet Nigeria where we bring to people’s awareness the danger of hazardous chemicals and waste to the environment.



 Dr. Helen Ogunsuyi is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry, Federal University of Technology Akure, Nigeria.  She is a lecturer and researcher with over 20 years of teaching experience.  Her current research specialty is on renewable energy, bio-energy option. She has authored and co-authored many scientific papers published both at local and international referred journals. She has attended several seminars, training workshops, symposia and conferences within and outside Nigeria where she presented many of her scientific findings orally and through poster exhibitions. She is a member of many professional bodies among which are: Institute of Chartered Chemists, Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World, Trieste Italy; Royal Society of Chemistry, African Scientific Institute, Chemical Society of Nigeria, AWARD fellow and NiWARD member.



Mrs Lilian A. Okeke has a Masters of Public Health graduate in Epidemiology,  a Medical Laboratory Scientist and a Microbiologist with expertise in laboratory science, research into communicable and non-communicable diseases, outbreak investigation and surveillance of infectious and non-infectious diseases and analysis of epidemiological data  with 10 years experience in public health, having worked in the hospital laboratory and research institute (National Veterinary Research Institute, Vom, Plateau State) for years and currently working( On Secondment) with the African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET)- National Stop Transmission of Poliomyelitis .  She possesses excellent organizational, customer service and researching skills and committed to diagnosing and providing solutions through effective laboratory scientific apparatus and implementation research. She is proficient with field data collection, data analysis and data interpretation using statistical software. Her focus is on strengthening health systems and management, and research into infectious and non-infectious diseases including zoonotic diseases.



 Olaitan O. Olajuyigbe is a Principal Research Officer in the Fish Technology and Products Development Dept. of the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research and a 2014 AWARD Fellow.  She holds a PhD in Microbiology from the University of Ibadan. Her research focus is on value addition, food safety and quality control. My purpose Road map is to empower and improve the livelihood of female fish farmers by training them on value addition, she is also interested in mentoring the younger ones (especially females).

With the support of her husband and her parents, she has been able to manage the home and work front efficiently. She has also had the challenge of working with people with difficult personality traits, AWARD Women Leadership and Management Course has helped me to be a better Team leader and Team player.


AyoJesutomi Abiodun-Solanke hopes to change the face of research by contributing immensely to the achievement of a happy, safe, sustainable and fish food secured continent through resource management, value addition and building capacities. She is a dynamic, hardworking and innovative. She loves challenges and thinking through these.  Her primary area of interest is fish safety and utilisation.  She lectures at Federal College of Fisheries and Marine Technology, Victoria Island. Lagos. She coordinates a local chapter of an international ocean conservation organisation, Mundus Maris-Science and Arts for Sustainability that does regular ocean cleaning and improve awareness while empowering marginalized fisherfolks communities on healthy oceans. She is working on developing a safe and quality smoked fish products by quality control assurance of the habitats and fish itself. She is also working on the performance evaluation of UI CORAF Smoking kiln using the product quality of African Catfish. She belongs to the African Transdisciplinary Network saddled with the responsibilities of developing context for this approach in Africa, developing a practical manual and training on the new research tool. Lastly, she has done and is still doing a lot of work on the fatty acid profile of fishes especially as it relates to processing and what is responsible for variation in the fishes.