ESTABLISHMENT OF TYPE CULTURE COLLECTION CENTRE IN NIGERIA Introduction Microorganisms (Microbes) are known to exhibit numerous benefit effects

on mankind and form the basis of numerous industrial and biotechnological processes. Microorganisms in the form of bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoans and algae are therefore, very important to the socioeconomic status of a nation. Their roles in the health, agriculture, food and beverages sectors and the environment are well understood and form the basis for studies on their nature, structure, activities and classification. These studies were aimed at controlling their effects as well as exploiting their activities for the benefit of humanity. Consequently, various microbes have been found to be very beneficial in medicine, industry, agriculture and warfare. The level to which a country appreciates and exploits the full benefits of microorganisms significantly contributes to its development. There is no single culture collection centre in the whole of Africa, all the important strains used for research and even for commercial purposes are imported at exorbitant costs from Europe and United States of America. For example, a strain of Nitobacter sp. an important microorganism, used for bioremediation costs as high as US$130 per vial from the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC). There is a very high demand for the services of collection centres all over the world. For instance, the demand for various services from the German Type Culture Collections (DSMZ) rose from 20,676 different strains in 1999 to 30, 2777 in 2003. There are impressive economic returns from these demands. DSMZ makes an annual return of about 7million Euro. Demands for the services are from both the industries and the academia. There is a very urgent need for a type culture collection centre to be established in Nigeria because the country stands a good chance to benefit and also has all it takes to put such in place. The National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) has already put machinery in progress for collaborative efforts in the establishment of regional type culture collection in the Sub-Sahara Africa. NABDA and RMRDC were invited to the Deutsche Sammlung Von Mikroorganismen Und Zellkulturen, Braunschweig, (DSMZ) Germany to see and understudy the work of microbial service and research culture collection of DSMZ run under a quality management system as a standard for shaping and developing our plans to set up a National Microbial Type Culture Collection.

Impact on National Development and Growth The appreciation of the roles of microorganisms and exploitation of their benefits by a nation will greatly impact on its national growth and development through • Ability to diagnose its endemic disease conditions associated with microbes through the identification of the causative organisms as a first step to its eradication. • Ability to establish industries to produce diagnostic kits for more accurate diagnosis of various forms of diseases conditions. • Utilization of such microbes as bacteria and moulds in industries such as Pharmaceutical for the production of antibiotics, certain hormones and a number of analytical and research biochemicals e.g. enzymes etc. Food and beverage industries for the production of beer, wines and spirits, vitamins and preservatives e.g. lactate, and other fermentation products. • Ability to use bacteria and algae to control environmental pollution through bio remediation processes • Ability to improve agricultural production through the production of biofertilizers and the use of bacterial based transformation to improve the qualities of crop varieties. • Controlling the entry of some virulent and dangerous microbes as well as microbial toxins into the country thus preventing any incidence of biological warfare targeted at it. • Addressing the strategic multiplication and manipulation of certain strains of microbes and their products to address it’s socioeconomic and defense objectives. Objective of this proposal The objective of this proposal is to establish a national microbial type culture collection centre in Nigeria. It is hoped that such a centre, if established, will provide the following facilities among others. • A repository of the culture of all microbial type strains in Nigeria. • A reference centre for identification and classification of new microbial strains. Presently, this is done in established type culture collection centres in Europe with attendant difficulties including economic losses, to Nigerian researchers • A reference centre for the control of entry of microbes and their products into the country. • A source for the provision of economically viable microbes for use in the industries and research establishments. • A centre for identification and characterization of disease causing microbial strains in the country with a view to proffering appropriate therapeutic and control regimes for such a centre will be very useful in addressing such current endemic diseases as Bird flu, HIV/AIDS etc in the country.

Cost implication ITEM A. Infrastructure Laboratory building B. Equipment Hardware’s (Microscopes, Deep freezers, Computers etc) Software’s C. Accessories and Consumables D. Capacity Building E. Overhead running costs for 2years TOTAL


Prayers Sir, you are invited to note: (i) That there is a dare need for the establishment of a microbial type culture collection centre at NABDA Permanent site Abuja, because of its enormous advantages to health, environment, agric, industry and to the overall national development. (ii) That there is no such type culture collection centre in the Central and West Africa Sub-region. (iii) That the cost implication of establishing such centre is five hundred million naira (N500M). (iv) That the investment in the establishment of microbial type culture collection centre will pay-off because of the high demand for microbes by researchers, industrialists in Nigeria, Central and West Africa Subregion, Africa and overseas And approve: (i) (ii) That a microbial type culture collection centre be established in NABDA Permanent site. Approve the release from the MDG account the sum of five hundred million naira (N500M) for its establishment.

Please kindly accept my highest regards. Prof. Turner T. Isoun Hon. Minister, Science and Technology

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