By Okon Okon
The Federal Government and the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Contextual Processing Protocols (CPP) for harvesting Nigeria’s natural resources with Phytomedicine potential.
The signing of the MoU was performed by the Permanent Secretaries of Ministry of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs (MSDIA), Ministry of Health and the Director-General of NIPRD on Friday in Abuja.
The aim of the MoU is to expedite the training and capacity building of traditional practitioners on fibro medicines in the 36 states of the federation.
Speaking, Mrs Ibiene Roberts, Permanent Secretary, MSDA, explained that the approval of the initiative was one of the mandates of the ministry to coordinate efforts among all relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
Roberts said the efforts were geared toward lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“It is in the pursuit of this that the Minister, Sen. George Akume, approved the collaborative effort with the NIPRD to develop CPP for harvesting Nigeria`s natural resources with phytomedicinal potential in the 36 states of the federation. “
Other objectives of the initiative, the permanent secretary said was to facilitate the standardization and registration of fibro medicines in the 36 states of the federation, to identify, stimulate processing protocols for plants resources found in various states.
Others are to facilitate a multi-sectoral engagement of all relevant stakeholders and to develop consensual process protocols.
Earlier, Dr Obi Adigwe, Director-General of NIPRD, explained that the CPP project was designed to harness products from each of the six geo-geopolitical regions in Nigeria.
“The CPP project is a short to medium term stimulus intervention programme developed by NIPRD based on existing research on natural resources with phytomedicinal potential.
“The design of the project is aimed at operationalising research findings while synergizing various institutional and private sector partnership that can improve the effective and efficient delivery of the project aims and objectives. “
According to Adigwe, the deployment of the project can stimulate rapid employment generation; increase the economic activity of the local youths and women, boost revenue generation in the country and improve the health and general well-being of Nigerians.
The director said the project was feasible, considering the availability of already validated and tested protocols and highly skilled manpower ready for deployment to the field with minimal setup time.
“So far, the project has trained traditional medicine practitioners in 11 states with a plan tp spread nationwide for greater impact, “ he said.
Also, Mr Mamman Mammud, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, said the initiative was quite profound considering the potential from herbal remedies occasioned by the vast vegetation and the mineral resources in Nigeria.
Represented by Mrs Olubunmi Aribeana, Director of Food /Drug in the ministry, Mammud recalled the Covid-19 incident which served as an eye opener for countries to remain self reliance for survival, hence the approach of such initiative.
“We all know what Covid-19 has taught us that self reliance is the way for survival of any country and base on that as the country we have to look inward.
“And NIPRD leading the way as pharmaceutical research is concerned, has thought it twice to come up with this contextual protocol, “ Mammud explained.
Dr Bello Maigari, the Executive Secretary National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF), pledged the agency`s support to the project which according to him, will promote access to quality healthcare in Nigeria. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Sadiya Hamza