Prof Sanni Oladimeji Lateef, BSc, MSc, PhD, FNIFST, MIPAN, MISTRC, MIUFoST, MWAAFoST, is no doubt a household name in the academic and research world. His enviable sojourn in the ivory towers has seen him rising brilliantly through the ranks from an Assistant Lecturer to a Professor within a space of 15 years. His excellent performance throughout his dutiful years of experience facilitated his rise and promotion to the top administrative echelon of the university, as he became a Deputy Vice Chancellor in 2017. He’s an administrator per excellence. He’s a man with the magic wand with which he has consistently midwifed and birthed successes in all the top academic and administrative positions he has held. Literally, everything he touches turns to gold.
Though quite unassuming, Prof Lateef is a paragon of academic excellence. His bagful of laurels complemented by his sound administrative acumen is not only fascinating but also intimidating. His profound erudition as a reputable academic, researcher and university administrator has placed him on such a high pedestal that this globally recognised intellectual and shinning star cannot be ignored by any serious-minded and result-oriented authority.
Therefore, his recent appointment as the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI), Ilorin, Kwara State, did not come as a surprise to many. By dint of hard work and tenacity of purpose, Prof Sanni Oladimeji Lateef has attained this current height in his enviable career. His exceptional academic attainments and administrative prowess speak volumes, and are no doubt the attraction to the appointing authorities in this regard.
Who then really is this internationally renowned Professor of Food Science and Technology?
Prof Sanni Oladimeji Lateef got his First Degree from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Nigeria in 1990. He finished from the Department of Food Science and Technology with a Second Class Upper Division. With this brilliant performance in his First Degree, he proceeded to the Department of Food Technology, University of Ibadan, where he obtained Master and PhD Degrees in 1993 and 1999, respectively. He returned to his Alma mata, FUNAAB in 1993, where he secured employment as an Assistant Lecturer. He was promoted Professor of Food Science and Technology in 2008. In 2015, Prof Lateef presented his Inaugural Lecture and in 2017, he became Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development). Earlier, Prof Lateef won the 2008 Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Award Regional Technology Development in Sub Saharan Africa (http://www.cgiar.org/newsroom/scientific.html). This multiple award-winning scholar has garnered over 27 years’ experience in research, consultancy and collaborations as a post-harvest expert in tropical root crops mostly implemented by the International Institute of Tropical Root Crop and Natural Resources Institute, United Kingdom. Prof Lateef is a project leader to multi-million dollar EU/Gates Foundation sponsored projects since 2008 to date. He was a resource person for the World Bank upscaling of flash drying experience in West Africa. He also served as the Principal Investigator, Food Developers Initiative and Food Science and Nutrition Network sponsored by the Association of African Universities in Nigeria, Benin and Sierra Leone and Food Science and Nutrition Network in West Africa, March 2010 to August 2011 under the sponsorship of African Universities/UK DFID. Prof Lateef is the Vice Chair, Steering Committee of the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development, and former National President, Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology.
Though quite unassuming, Prof Lateef is a paragon of academic excellence. His bagful of laurels complemented by his sound administrative acumen is not only fascinating but also intimidating. His profound erudition as a reputable academic, researcher and university administrator has placed him on such a high pedestal that this globally recognised intellectual and shinning star cannot be ignored by any serious-minded and result-oriented authority
In 2008, he won the Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Award for Regional Technology Development in Sub-Saharan Africa. He also received the FUNAAB Research Productivity Award (Senior Academic Category) in January 2011 and Most Outstanding International Ambassador in January 2012.
This renowned academic has so far mentored over 20 junior academics across three continents and has trained well over 100 BSc, 30 MSc and 18 PhD graduates with well over 100 scientific publications in National and International Journals, Proceedings, reports, reviews, and books.
Specifically, Prof Lateef has published 122 journal articles, 30 books, 30 conference proceedings, 1 patent and recorded highest citation in Google Scholar (5,294, h-index of 37), Scopus 1526, h-index of 20 and Research Gate (3365, h-index 33.15).
Prof Lateef is a former Editorial Member, International Journal of Food Science and Technology and reviewer to many journals at national and international levels. He is also the Chairman, Governing Council, Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology, Igboora, Oyo State, Nigeria, and a former President, International Society for Tropical Root Crops (African Branch) and President, International Society for Tropical Root Crops.
He is a Fellow of the Nigeria Academy of Science (FAS) and President of the national body of the FUNAAB Alumni Association.
With Prof Lateef now in the saddle at NSPRI, the Institute is on the right path to truly achieving its mission and vision, as well as ensuring food security for the nation. With this renowned multiple award-winning erudite scholar at the helm of affairs at NSPRI, it’s indeed a new dawn of monumental breakthroughs for the Institute in all spheres
In November 2022, Prof Lateef added to his already brimming kitty of academic laurels when he was inducted Fellow, International Academy of Food Science, Technology (IAFoST) in Singapore during the 21st World Congress of Food Science & Technology. He was the only qualified scientist from an African Institution out of the 27 Scientists from 20 countries inducted as new Fellows of the 13th class of outstanding food scientists and technologists of the Academy.
He also emerged the second-best researcher in FUNAAB and the 43rd best researcher in Nigeria with 2023 AD Scientific Rankings of 5 193, h-index of 37.
With Prof Lateef now in the saddle at NSPRI, the Institute is on the right path to truly achieving its mission and vision, as well as ensuring food security for the nation. With this renowned multiple award-winning erudite scholar at the helm of affairs at NSPRI, it’s indeed a new dawn of monumental breakthroughs for the Institute in all spheres.
. Olatunji writes from Lekki Phase 1, Lekki, Lagos. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org