By Mohammed Mohammed
The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, on Tuesday 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.
Onu said that more studies and understanding of the nation’s flora and fauna will help Nigeria surpass other nations of the world in pharmaceutical production and other medicinal uses of plants.
The Minister 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, he said 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, adding that if countries like China could accomplish so much in 30-35 years, Nigeria has all it takes to surpass the Chinese achievement.
Onu, said that the recently revised Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policy will propel Nigeria into being one of the most scientifically advanced nations of the world.
According to him, one of the highest cancer killing diseases among Nigerian men and women are prostate and breast cancer. He therefore 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 encourages the government to put certain policies in place so that the elite can also embrace it.