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Last updateSam, 31 Jan 2015 10am

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Indigenous herbal products in Nigeria

Jonathan vows to promote indigenous herbal products - The Nigerian government says it will put in place measures to promote indigenous herbal products for local needs and export.

President Goodluck Jonathan gave this indication Thursday while commissioning the Main Administrative and Laboratory Complex of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) at Idu, near Abuja, the federal capital city.

He said the measures were meant to reverse the trend of flooding the Nigerian markets with foreign medical products because 'our natural, trado-medicinal, and bio-resources remain largely under-exploited', although 'Our nation is richly endowed with human, natural and trado-medicinal bio-resources.'

According to Jonathan, 'Research and Development (R&D) are critical to our national technological and scientific advancement, and our quest to become one of the World's 20 largest economies. Research and Development (R&D) are some of the pillars of our efforts at National Transformation.'

He said that 'In today's global economy, a nation's competitive edge is determined by its achievements in science and technology, triggered by its research and development competence. Research and development have transformed major economies and accelerated the evolution of major global economic powerhouses.

'Our transformation Agenda and the NEEDS (National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy) documents, therefore, emphasized that indigenous capability and manpower in Science and Technology must be developed for our country to sustain steady economic and social progress.'

He said that the Nigerian government had placed high premium on the development of the  national research and development capability, adding that 'In the over 50 Research Institutes and centres, and over 100 universities around the country, we have developed policies and programmes that support scientific research at the national and state levels.'

Jonathan said that the NIPRD, established to respond to Nigeria’s research and development needs in the Pharmaceutical sub-sector, has remained a first class pharmaceutical research institute and a Centre of Excellence.

Over the years, he remarked, the NIPRD has grown into an institution of international repute, with demonstrable capacity in the development of phyto-medicines, biological and pharmaceutical products.

'Indeed, it has also made some outstanding research breakthroughs in some common diseases of public health concern such as Sickle Cell Disease, Malaria, and Diabetes, amongst others. Of particular importance and commendation is the Institution’s ground breaking discovery of a potent anti-sickling agent - NIPRISAN, a discovery through original research, which has won worldwide acclaim,' Jonathan remarked.

Saying that 'Our target is to align the country’s drive for economic development with improvements in the overall welfare of our citizens,' Jonathan said 'The completion of this project is yet more proof of government’s commitment to the provision of infrastructure, and the creation of the enabling environment to strengthen the National Health Services.'

He pledged his administration's support to the institute to fulfil its obligation to the nation.

Pana 21/02/2014