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Nigeria ready to tap into $100bn herbal medicine market, say minister, Iwu

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Ogbonnaya Onu

The Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, has said Nigeria is ready to tap into about S100 billion worth of opportunities in the global medicinal plant market.

Onu stated this when he received members of the National steering committee on the National summit on Plant Resources for Sustainable National Development at the ministry in Abuja.

The minister noted that tapping into the opportunities means more jobs would be created in the process for the youths, adding that the country can make fortune from growing plant, hence reducing the pressure on crude oil.

Onu, adding that Nigeria needs to be a self-reliant nation said, “We are trying to make sure we that we grow some of these plants that are found isolated in specific areas but can be exceptionally useful in the pharmaceutical industry.

We want to reduce what we are importing. Importation is not sustainable and with price of crude oil fall without us doing something it will be a very serious matter.”

He added: “We must tap into the $100 billion dollar market. Presently there are some many Nigerians patronising herbs from other countries and we should be able to use and export some to other countries”

The chairman of the steering committee, Prof. Maurice Iwu, said it should be a surprise to Nigerians that the country has not benefitted from over a hundred billion dollar industry in only pharmaceutical materials that are from plant, while countries like Kenya, South Africa, Madagascar and Cameroun are exploiting the opportunities in the sector.

He argued that the little knowledge of those in the industrial sector on amount of raw materials the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) have worked on, and lack of synergy between various sectors prompted the idea to hold a national summit where vital issues affecting the industry will be discussed.

Iwu, who said the summit would map out alternative source of revenue for the country, stressed the importance of science and technology in having a sustainable economic development.


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