Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has condemned the rate at which Nigeria imports all forms of herbal products from different parts of the world.
The minister, while speaking at the fourth Annual Clinical Research and Public Health Emergencies in Sub-Saharan Africa, said that “the spate at which Nigeria imports all forms of herbal products from different parts of the world is unacceptable and does not make sense.”
He argued that the country’s biodiversity and bioresources were extremely rich, vast and diverse, which, if properly exploited, can meet the country’s needs and the rest of the world.
“We have so much capacity in Nigeria and if we rely on what we can do for ourselves as a people we would build a very strong economy.”
Onu insists that the sharp drop in the price of crude oil and its attendant effect on the reduction of the availability of foreign exchange has left the country with no other option than to look inwards to source her needs.
“Nigeria’s problems can best be solved by Nigerians. We can no longer continue with the foreign taste we have developed over the years.”
In a related development, the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, said that the Federal Ministry of Health would continue to develop incentives for everyone who wanted to invest in the health sector – including research.
Adewole who was represented by the Director Planning, Research and Statistics, Dr. Ngozi Azodo, noted that the Buhari administration was committed to working with the organisers to redress some of the problems in the health sector by using local resources, building the capacity of researchers especially in research on local herbs.