The Chairman of the Ministerial Committee on COVID-19 Herbal Remedies and Natural Compounds, Prof. Motso Onuoha, has said Nigeria has the capacity to find 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 the committee would scrutinise and verify claims on the cure for COVID-19.
Onuoha stated, “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.”
He commended the effort of the Ministry of Science and Technology in finding a cure for COVID-19.
“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,” Onuoha said.
Other members of the committee are Prof. Oyewale Tomori, Prof. Dennis Agbonlahor, Prof. Obinna Onwujekwe and Prof. Babatunde Salako.
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 COVID-19 remained a threat to the health and well-being of Nigerians and the national economy, noting that members of the committee included scientists and fellows of the Nigerian Academy of Science.
The minister stated that the team would authenticate claims of cure and herbal remedy for COVID-19 being made by researchers, scientists and traditional medical practitioners.
Onu urged members of the committee to vigorously scrutinise and evaluate all claims brought before it.
He charged the committee to identify the remedies with the brightest prospects for providing protection and healing to affected persons or those at the risk of contracting the dreaded disease.
“I have no doubt that the discovery of a cure for COVID-19 in Nigeria will 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,” Onu said.