Chairman of the Ministerial Committee on COVID-19 Herbal Remedies and Natural Compounds, Prof. Motso Onuoha, has expressed optimism at Nigeria’s chances of finding a cure for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Onuoha, who is also the President of the Nigerian Academy of Science, said this during the inauguration of the committee in Abuja on Monday.
He said, “Everybody is looking for a solution to the pandemic; even if we joked about the Madagascar cure, we cannot deny the attempt the nation was making to find a home-grown solution.
“Every nation has to make an effort to find a solution, and I believe that Nigerians can find a solution to the pandemic, but we have to search. I also know that before the advent of the white man medicine, our people were dealing with the diseases of the time with local solutions. Even though some of them were shrouded in mystery, there is no doubt they were able to find a solution to the sicknesses facing the people at that time.
“People are thinking of only herbal concoctions but some of the things that have been submitted to the ministry include computer apps for contact tracing, among others.”
The Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, who inaugurated the committee at the headquarters of the ministry in Abuja, said there was an urgent need to develop a home-grown remedy and vaccine for the virus.
He said, “I have no doubt that the discovery of a cure for COVID-19 in Nigeria would enhance the standing of our dear nation in the comity of nations.
“It will also accord Nigerian scientists the deserved recognition and help regenerate foreign exchange earnings for the nation as well as enable a knowledge economy that will facilitate economic growth and sustainable national development.”
He said Nigeria with 172 other countries had been making frantic efforts for enhanced access to COVID-19 vaccines by participating in COVAX, a global initiative to provide worldwide access to safe and effective vaccines.
The minister stated that COVAX currently has the world’s largest and most diverse COVID-19 vaccine portfolio, including nine candidate vaccines, seven of which were currently in clinical trials.