Political and business leaders, donors, scientists, and other eminent personalities joined the IITA community in celebrating the Golden Jubilee at IITA headquarters in Ibadan. The Acting President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo was represented by HE Chief Audu Innocent Ogbeh, the Hon. Minister Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

In a speech read on his behalf by HE Chief Ogbeh, the Acting President Prof Osinbajo appreciated the role IITA plays in helping Nigeria deal with new challenges in agriculture. HE called on IITA to intensify its research and communicate this research for universal application to help feed the ballooning population.

“Your research efforts have to spread far and wide for us to produce crops that are resistant to diseases,” HE stated.

Former Military head of state HE General Yakubu Gowon, former President HE Chief General Olusegun Obasanjo, former Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Augustin Matata Ponyo, and the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji, led political leaders from parliaments to states at the celebration.

The celebration was also attended by 2017 World Food Laureate and AfDB President Dr Akin Adesina, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist Tony Elumelu, Director generals from sister CGIAR centers, representatives of donor organizations, and IITA alumni.