The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has said the Nigerian science community needs to conduct further research and understand better the variety of medicinal herbal plants that are available in all regions of the country.
Onu said that more studies and understanding of the nation’s flora will help Nigeria surpass other nations of the world in terms of pharmaceutical production.
He made the call at the public book presentation of “Healing Plants of Nigeria (Ethno-medicine and Therapeutic Applications)” written by a cleric, Dr. Anselm Adodo and former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Maurice Iwu, today (February 22) in Abuja.
Onu said to further develop the pharmaceutical scene in the country, Nigeria must have enough stock for medicinal plants for research and production.
The minister said that the medicinal plants can help the nation become a major world producer of pharmaceutical drugs and added that if countries like China could accomplish so much in 30 to 35 years, Nigeria has all it takes to surpass the achievement of the Chinese.
He added that the recently revised Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy will propel Nigeria into being one of the most scientifically advanced nations in the world.
A statement by the ministry’s deputy director, press and public relations, Afonja Ajibola, said Onu identified prostate and breast cancer as two of the highest killing diseases among Nigerians. He, therefore, directed the director-general of the Nigerian Natural Medicine Development Agency (NNMDA) to come up with solutions to cure the disease.
Earlier, the guest speaker, Prof. Olabanjo Kunle said that traditional medicine is vibrant in only rural areas and encouraged the government to put certain policies in place to make the elite embrace it.