By Harry Awurumibe, Editor Abuja Bureau
Nigeria’s Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onuh has revealed that the Nigerian Academy of Science has been mandated to verify all claims by Nigerian scientists, researchers and herbal medicines practitioners that they have developed herbal products which can cure the dreaded novel Coronavirus (Covid-19).
This is coming at a time the Nigerian Government has accepted the much-talked about Madagascar Covid-Organic solution while the home-grown products developed by some Nigerian scientists and researchers like Professor Maurice Iwu have been ignored.
Iwu who is a Professor of Pharmacognosy and former Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been shouting on top of his voice that he has developed herbal products which has been found to have cured SARS which is actually the same as Covid-19.
He has also disclosed that he has met with the Minister of Science and Technology and his Health counterpart to intimate them of the availability of his home-grown products to fight Covid-19 but has not received any response.
However, the Minister of Science and Technology has transferred the powers of verification of such claims to Nigerian Academy of Science just as the claimants are now expected to face the scrutiny of the professional body.
The Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS) is the foremost independent scientific body in Nigeria which was established in 1977 (but incorporated in 1986). NAS is uniquely positioned to bring scientific knowledge to bear on the policies/strategic direction of the country and is also dedicated to the development and advancement of science, technology, and innovation in Nigeria.
NAS is a national not-for-profit organisation with membership elected through a highly competitive process, who have distinguished themselves in their fields both locally and internationally.
Some of its members have served as Vice-Chancellors of universities, Directors-General of government parastatals and Ministers.
The Academy, given its clout, also has the ability to attract other experts from around the country and internationally when needed.
NAS, with its combination of expertise and independence, is uniquely positioned to bring scientific evidence to bear on policies and program implementation in the country.
NAS is Nigeria’s national representative on such bodies as the International Council for Science (ICSU) – the umbrella body for all science associations and unions – and the Inter-Academy Panel (IAP) – the umbrella body for all national science academies globally.
The Academy is also a member of the Executive Committees of the Inter-Academy Medical Panel (IAMP) and the Network of African Science Academies (NASAC).
Some recent accomplishments of NAS include:
- the development of a training manual on getting research into policy and practice;
- the organization of an international conference on climate change in Lagos
- implementation of a project on linking agriculture and nutrition
- the organization of a national consensus building workshop on the prevention of maternal and child mortality in Nigeria, and
- convening a roundtable meeting to discuss the issues related to the Ebola Virus Disease epidemic that recently affected the country and the West African region.