By Omodele Adigun
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, May & Baker Plc may soon start the export of herbal medicines to earn foreign exchange (forex) for the country, its Managing Director, Mr. Nnamdi Okafor, has said.
According to Okafor, who stated this while launching a range of natural medicine products developed in partnership with Siddh:ayu Ayurvedic Research Foundation Ltd, India, there is arrangement to develop local capacity to get some of the products done in Nigeria. “Today, we are importing, but over time, we would begin to produce locally. And by so doing, we are transferring capacity; we are going to employ more people that will work in those factories. Nigeria, at some point, will begin to export some of these products to some parts of Africa. And it would be a source of foreign exchange for this country”, he said.
Giving reasons for dabbling into herbal products, Okafor said it has come to the notice of the company that there are some Nigerians who are concerned about the side effects of some of the orthodox medicines and they would rather use herbal medicines.
“As a company, our mission is to improve the quality of life of every Nigerian throughout their lives. We see it as our responsibility to see that those Nigerians, who, for some reasons, are scared of taking the orthodox medicines, are covered. And because also, we have reputation for quality, we needed to make sure that we have a partner who can deliver on our standards. And that is why, today we have with us a very reputable company in India, the biggest in the area of herbal medicine or ayurvedic medicine: Siddh:ayu Research Foundation Limited India as our partner, to deliver this new area of medicine to Nigerians.”
Heexplained that efforts are on top gear to develop herbal medicine for sickle cell anaemia in the country, saying that at the moment, the company is discussing with the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology through FIIRO (Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi) and we are likely to have one or two products that will be launched, which are also going to be in the same basket., We are also discussing with the Federal Ministry of Health for another medicine that is for sickle cell anaemia which is also natural. All those products are the ones we want to start with. And as we go on, we already have a commitment of Siddh:ayu that we would develop local capacity to get some of these products done in Nigeria.