The award winning social entrepreneur and founder of MitiMeth Nigeria, Achenyo Idachaba has encouraged students of Obafemi Awolowo University to explore the entrepreneurship track.
Achenyo, who spoke as one of the guest lecturers at the Seminar of the National Association of Botany Students as part of events lined up to mark NABOS Week 2016 shared her story and how she uses what is considered as an environmental problem by many to empower communities.
The 47-year-old entrepreneur who has a background tertiary education in Computer Science from Obafemi Awolowo University won the 2014 Cartier Women Initiative Award. She uses Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), an invasive weed on water ways to make eco-friendly materials including decors, books, pen and others.
Addressing the students on the ‘Entrepreneurship Utilization of Potent Botany’, she said her urge for sustainable development and solve the problem created by the weed on water way sent her to research on the weeds. She said 20 Nigerian states had the problem of water hyacinth and other invasive aquatic weeds on their water ways which she described as renewable resources that can be transformed to an economic advantage through the empowerment of communities and creation of art craft accessories. She encouraged the students not to prioritize money as a goal but rather strive to do well what they like doing.
The other Guest lecturer at the seminar Professor Jide Oke who is the Director, Institute of Entrepreneurship and Developmental Studies also opened the mind of the botany students to so many entrepreneurial opportunities that lie in the field of Botany through his lecture delivery. Oke who took the students down history lane reiterated the drastic reduction in white collar job, hence, the challenge for the students to become entrepreneurs that will create jobs.
The Seminar also featured the Presentation of gifts and awards to the winners of the maiden edition of NABOS Essay Competition. Oyetunji Ridwan won the first prize while Adekambi Blessing, Kolade Aminat Taiwo and Latifah Adejumoke came 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively. The awards were presented to the students by the invited guests amidst loud cheers from their colleagues.
The event was chaired by Professor Anthony Elujoba, a renowned herbal practitioner and scholar from the Department of Pharmacognosy, OAU and had in attendance several dignitaries in attendance including the Dean, Faculty of Science, OAU represented by the Vice Dean, Dr Adebiyi, and the event was hosted by the HOD of the Department of Botany, OAU, Dr Abayomi E. Folorunso.
Giving the vote of thanks at the end of the seminar, the president of the student association, David Adetula appreciated all the participants of the seminar and encouraged them to utilize every teaching they have gotten.