The National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) has flayed state governors for not being interested in the development of herbal medicine which it says has the capacity to create jobs, foreign exchange and generate income for Nigeria.
Calling governors lazy, NIPRD chief executive Dr Obi Adigwe criticized them for relying only on the monthly federal allocation rather than developing sectors that could generate billions internally for states.
Dr Adigwe raised his concerns in an interview with reporters as part of the events marking Traditional African Medicine Day 2021 in Abuja.
He lamented that the herbal medicine industry is currently neglected by state governors, despite being a multi-billion dollar industry that can make every state financially independent.
The pharmaceutical expert, however, advocated the creation of farms for the cultivation and processing of medicinal plants in Nigeria in order to encourage local production of drugs.
Governors, said Adigwe, âmust understand the potential that lies in their backyard. Indeed, a simple phytomedical project in their states will ensure that one million farmers, one million local women, one million young people are actively engaged in jobs and that the products will produce products that can be exported or sold on the market. market once they receive the NAFDAC. registration.”
âWe have engaged the 36 state governors of Nigeria. I am disappointed with the level of response we got. Only a handful of them recognize the potential of the herbal medicine sector.
âThere is no state in Nigeria that does not have factories that can generate high quality pharmaceuticals and generate income. “But a lot of these state governors are just lazy looking for a ready-made subsidy from the federal government when the gold that is in their backyard if they mine it will create jobs for their citizens is fair. there doing nothing. “
While noting that India has tapped into its rich herbal remedies and brings in billions of dollars in foreign currency to its people, Adigwe said Nigeria has more quality herbal remedies than India.
âIt is known that the number of plants in Nigeria that have ethnomedicinal and ethnobotanical potentials number in the thousands and less than 10 percent of them have been exploited. “And these potentials exist in every region and every state of the federation,” he noted. He revealed that: âWe have defined three products per state which, when developed, will not only generate high quality products, but also ensure that local people in rural areas have jobs.
âIt will also ensure that you build their capacities, as they will be able to harvest them and transform them in a way that is internationally acceptable.
âIt will also ensure that income is generated for the citizens and for the government, as they will pay taxes when they register with NAFDAC and when they sell them in pharmacies and when they export. We are sitting in a gold mine.
He, however, advised herbal medicine practitioners to grow by improving their knowledge and also instructed them to join traditional medicine councils in their states for proper regulation.