Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technologys, Mrs Belema Wakama, on Monday, said the Federal Government would support efforts to standardize the use of herbal medicine in the country.
Wakama disclosed this in Abuja, when executive members of the Association of Commonwealth Natural and Herbal Medicine Practitioners paid a courtesy visit to the ministry
She said that about 70 per cent [126millions] of Nigerians now use local and imported herbs to treat their ailments.
Represented by the Deputy Director in the Health and Biological Sciences department in the ministry, Mr David Erabhahiemen, the permsec said since many Nigerians were now taken to herbs, government would work with the practitioners to standardise the products.
She said standardisation would further endear the herbal medicine to more Nigerians and could make them compete favourably in the international market.
“We are with you in the efforts you are making. We will not leave the profession to you; you are going to be regulated.
“ We have an agency regulating practice of herbal medicine, and we will ensure all herbal products are standardised in the country.
About 70 per cent of Nigerians now consume or use herbal medicine, and we must ensure what they use are standardised”, the permsec said.
In his address, the president of the association, Alhaji Muhammadu Salisu Danmasani said herbal medicine practice was capable of reducing poverty and create jobs for Nigerians.
Meanwhile Prof. Maurice Iwu, Chairman, Bioreources Development and Conservation Programme (BDCP), had said Nigeria had what it takes to diversify her economy through earnings from traditional and herbal medicines.
“Nigeria is so endowed that we should be able to compete with other countries in adding to our income stream things that come out from herbal products.
“Herbal medicine is an area where many countries are looking at, yet we have not looked into this area to any significant level.
“We know what happens in China, a lot of people in this country buy products from them and also India where people buy a lot of food supplements,’’ Iwu said. (NAN)