The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu said 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 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.
The minister made this call at the public book presentation entitled 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 the medicinal plants could 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 the recently revised Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policy would 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 cancers. 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 traditional medicine is vibrant in only rural areas and encourages government to put policies in place for the elite to also embrace it.