NIPRD begins multi billion naira project across Nigeria

Gloria Essien, Abuja

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The National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), has initiated a multi billion naira project that will improve the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of all states of the country.
The project which is aimed at tapping rich natural products that has pharmaceutical value in each state has since commenced in 10 states across the six geographical zones of the country.
The Director General (DG) of NIPRD, Dr. Peter Obi Adigwe, disclosed this when the executives of the Association of Nigeria Health Journalists (ANHEJ), led by its President, Mr Hassan Zaggi, paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja, yesterday.
According to the DG, NIPRD had since conducted researches on the products  and has it decided to start translating  the research findings into product.
He said the agency is also improving access to healthcare and also meeting other economic indices that stakeholders are interested in.
He disclosed that some of the states that have commenced discussions to implement the project include Anambra, Ondo, Katsina,  Lagos, Osun among others.
Kaduna state, he said, has gone far in the project
 
“It is a multi- billion dollar industry. Eucalyptus is a multimillion dollar industry. We have started engaging Katsina state for Azadirachta indica. The  Katsina state project is fashion against the Indian model.  India makes one billion US dollars every year from Neem. In Nigeria, we used our own Neem for shade. The Katsina state project is geared at changing that. Anambra state project is looking at Vernonia amygdalina (bitter leaf). Edo state project is Senna alata. We have just started talking to the Cross River State government and in the next few days we are going there”, the DG said.
Dr. Adigwe also said “What we have done is that we have mapped out Nigeria, the country is very rich in terms of natural resources. There is no where you go to in Nigeria where you don’t have product that have very rich ethno pharmaceutical potentials. What we have done is that we have mapped out areas where the climate, the topography and other unique conditions within that area encouraged a particular product. But that product has to have healthcare benefit, economic benefit, capacity building benefit to the people and potential to create IGR for the states and if properly harness and processed the people in the area will also have their capacity built while that product is being processed. That is what has guided us in developing our contextual  processing protocol.” 
Dr. Adigwe vowed to partner with the media for the development of NIPRD and the health sector in general.
Earlier, the President of the Association of the Nigeria Health Journalists (ANHEJ), Mr. Hassan Zaggi, said the aim of the visit was to seek for ways of collaboration and partnership for the growth of NIPRD.
He insisted that with the needed support from the government, NIPRD has the potential to turn around the economy of the country.
The President of ANHEJ reiterated that his group is determined to ensuring that the health sector improves from what it is now.
According to Zaggi: “We know that the health sector has so many challenges, therefore, to us, we believe that we have to come together, both the stakeholders and the media and bail the health sector.
 
“We believe that when we come closer, we will be able to understand your issues, challenges, weak areas and strength and then come in as the media to support you.We are interested in making sure that agencies in the health sector play their roles appropriately for the growth of the sector and the good of all Nigerians,” he said.
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