The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu said that the Nigerian scientific community needs to conduct further research and understand better the variety of medicinal herbal plants that are available in all regions of the country.
Stating that more studies and understanding of the nation’s flora and fauna will help Nigeria surpass other nations of the world in terms of pharmaceutical production.
Dr. Onu made the call at the public book presentation of “HEALING PLANTS OF NIGERIA” (Ethno medicine and Therapeutic Applications) written by Rev. Fr. Dr. Anselm Adodo and Prof. Maurice Iwu in Abuja on Tuesday.
To further develop the pharmaceutical scene in the country, Dr. Onu said that 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. He added that if countries like China could accomplish so much in 30-35 years, Nigeria has all it takes to surpass the Chinese achievement.
Dr. Onu said that the recently revised Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy will propel Nigeria into one of the most scientifically advanced nations of the world.
The Minister noted that one of the leading cause of death among Nigerian men and women are prostate and breast cancer. He directed the Director General of the Nigerian Natural Medicine Development Agency (NNMDA) to come up with solutions to cure this menace. Earlier, the Guest Speaker Prof Olabanjo Kunle said that traditional medicine is vibrant in only rural areas and encourage the government to put certain policies in place so that the elite can also embrace it.