The Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger state, Professor Abdullahi Bala, has reiterated the determination of the institution to intensify research in natural plants for the production of medicines.
Bala made the statement when he received the Director General of the Nigerian Natural Medicine Development Agency (NNMDA), Dr Sam Etatuvie, on Monday in Minna, the state capital.
Bala said that many staff of the university had conducted researches on natural plants to proffer solutions to some known diseases in the country.
He urged the agency to show strong commitment to investing in research so that the research would lead to useful medical products.
“We have many technologies in the area of natural plants on our shelves that will need the agency to provide the platform for our researchers to excel.’’
He advised the agency to invest in the cultivation of medicinal plants found in every community in the country.
The vice-chancellor advised that planting should be done during the rainy season.
Bala called for speedy renewal of the existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the agency and the university to explore new areas for the development of the nation.
“The existing MoU has elapsed since 2015 and there is an urgent need for us to renew the collaboration in order to address health challenges,’’ he said.
The vice-chancellor expressed his optimism that the renewal of the MoU would further strengthen the existing collaboration between the two parties.
Speaking earlier, Etatuvie congratulated Bala on his appointment, noting that the agency had been following the university’s progress with keen interest.
He said the visit was in line with the present administration’s desire to diversify the economy and the national strategic competitiveness in raw materials for products development.
This, according to him, necessitated the agency to look critically into natural plants for the production of medicines.
He said that Nigeria was not making good use of its abundant natural resources to generate revenue as “the country is not making enough money from the cultivation of natural plants for medicinal purposes like China and India.”
He said that the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, had directed the agency to revive all its farms and to use science, technology and innovation to carry out scientific analysis of plants that could be used to cure diseases.