A new meeting facility was commissioned at IITA headquarters recently. The meeting room, based at the Facilities Management Services (FMS), is called the Savanna Room. It is an ultra-modern facility suitable for teleconferencing and online forums designed and built internally by the FMS team led by Waheed Quader.
“The room was named after the beautiful and vast plains of Africa—the savannas, which cover about 60% of the continent,” said Quader, who designed the facility, which used to be a refrigeration workshop. The brown and green color scheme used represents the stark beauty of the savannas, he added. “The brown patterned walls stand for the sands of the savanna, and the green plant fresco painted on the ceiling represents the shrubs and trees of the savanna.”
IITA Director General Nteranya Sanginga was on hand to inaugurate the meeting facility in late March. He declared the room “open for business” in a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The function room provides a much-needed addition to meeting facilities in IITA, which are rented out at nominal prices for official events, workshops, and meetings. The room is insulated and sound-proof boasts of Wi-Fi and online facilities and is suitable for virtual meetings and teleconferences. It can accommodate some 40 to 45 people at any one time.
Already, the Management Team used the room early this month for one of its regular weekly Senior Management Team online meetings, discussing guidelines on preventing the spread of COVID-19 in IITA, among other things.
At the inauguration, Sanginga also advised Quader and his team to come up with a plan for maintaining the aesthetics in IITA and refurbishing and building up IITA’s meeting and office facilities, not just at headquarters but also in the hubs and stations where the Institute is building infrastructure to better serve partners in research in those locations.
In the recent past, FMS has helped build scientific and production facilities, laboratories, workshops, meeting venues, sheds, training rooms, and offices in various locations, including the Southern African hub offices in Zambia; The Pres. Olusegun Obasanjo Research and Development Center in Bukavu, DR Congo; the country offices in Mozambique; and offices and facilities in Abuja, Nigeria.