The Federal Government will soon stem the indiscriminate importation of herbal remedies while it accelerates efforts towards finding effective herbal cures for diseases such as cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma and sickle cell anemia, Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu has said.
Addressing reporters in Abuja during a maiden world press conference on his Agenda and Policy Framework towards taking the Ministry to the next level, Onu expressed plans to involve Nigeria’s private sector in research and production processes for the efficient exploit of the nation’s huge natural resources.
“We will continue with our research on our local medicinal herbs; we can no longer continue to import from other countries medicinal herbs that are found in large quantities in the country.
“We will involve the private sector to efficiently exploit this huge resource; we will continue our research in finding cure for many diseases including different types of cancer, epilepsy, sickle cell anemia, and the management of glaucoma.
“We will continue work on the research and production of vaccines,” Onu told reporters.
Speaking further on President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to reduce carbon emission, he said that the Federal Government intends to intensify research and development work in the area of renewable energy.
“In line with Mr. President’s commitment, on behalf of the nation, to reduce carbon emission, we will intensify research and developmental work in the area of renewable energy.
“We will take advantage of our geographical location near the equator to exploit solar energy; we will also work to harness the hydropower potential 0f many of the smaller rivers in different parts of the country as well as wind energy.
“The Federal Ministry of Science and Technology is poised to evolve new initiatives and involve everyone in the efforts to optimize costs of investments in renewable energy, encourage good environmental stewardship, improve public health, rural /urban power infrastructure, economic empowerment and growth through skills acquisition, job creation and energy efficiency,” he added.
The Minister also gave assurances that the current administration is determined to ensure Nigeria’s democratic growth, job creation and food security.
“In our journey to build a great nation, we must protect our democracy; our elections must be simple, clean, transparent and devoid of violence.
“This way, we will elect only those who represent the will of the people; we have seen that most of the irregularities in elections can be traced to human error and human factor; hence the FMST will develop an appropriate technology to give our nation clean and transparent elections where violence will have no place at all.
“The creation of jobs will receive serious attention through the commercialization of research findings; I intend to encourage Nigerians to develop greater interest; in Venture Capital, through the participation of the private sector in the commercialization of research findings.
“This will be helpful in establishing viable startups that will invigorate the driving of micro, small and medium scale enterprises.
“We will work hard to support all efforts aimed at achieving food security for our beloved nation by encouraging competition among researchers and engineers in the country to develop appropriate technologies to drive the process.
“Our research will aim at increasing yield and disease resistance in seeds and seedlings, developing appropriate machines and equipment to assist planting, harvesting, storage and processing of crops.
“We will work to reduce the waste usually associated with some of our agricultural products during the harvest season so as to make these available all year round; this will help us fight hunger as we can make food available in our homes for the use of all,” he stated.