On Saturday, 4 June, 2022, the wife of the president and first lady of Nigeria, Mrs Aisha Buhari asked the National Assembly to speed up the passage of the Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine Council Bill.
She said that over 10,000 species of medical plants in Nigeria are being underused not withstanding global request for herbal medication, cosmetics and other important products
While speaking at the opening ceremony of a conference organized by her office working together with the Department of Traditional Complementary and Alternative Medicine (TCAM), Federal Ministry of Health with the theme, ‘Nigeria Indigenous Medicinal Plants – Health Benefits and Economic Potentials.’
She said, “These important resources usually known as ‘green gold’ can be used to produce medicine, cosmetics and other products beneficial to our people.
“This conference is positioned with the government’s agender of assisting non-oil exports which will result in commercial cultivation of medicinal plants for health, social and economic benefits. Its aim is to provide wealth and employment creation for our youths and women.
“Rapid passage of the TCAM council bill is required to control the practice and products.
Dr Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health promised that the Federal Government would bring about wide-scale use of traditional and alternative medicine in conventional medical practice.
He said, “Traditional Medicine was all we had before the coming of modern medicine and the same goes for all cultures and civilization. The continuous interest and inquiry into traditional medicine is the right way to further develop these ancient herbs in Nigeria.”
“The time has come to use the knowledge and skills of our forefathers given through generations for great additional value. Positioned with the dream of the government to investigate all means for good health care, the Federal Ministry of Health will remain dedicated to helping initiatives that elevate TCAM in Nigeria.
He said, ” It is informative that many Nigerians still search for and utilize traditional medicine in addition to conventional medicine.
Prof Macdonald Idu, the key note speaker in his research paper titled ‘ Nigerian Indigenous Plants, Our Story’ cautioned that Nigeria might be in the edge of being omitted in a market whose value would be N1 trillion by 2025.
He said, ” Other countries are getting money. As of 15 years ago, when we were sponsored to India, the Secretary of State to Indian Government informed us that they were making $4bn from internal revenue only(that’s selling plants to their people).At that time, they were making five to six times above that shipping their plants outside India.
So, you can imagine, we were given a commission of N1bn, somebody is making $4 bn from only within and about $10bn or $20bn outside as of then. You know what money was then.
I’m Sorry, Nigeria, we talk a lot, but we don’t really work the talk. So I am interested in dragging the hearts of people to be aware that we should variegate our economy.”