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Nigeria’s national parks to provide plants for pharmaceutical products — CG

The Conservator General (CG), National Parks Service (NPS), Dr Ibrahim Goni on Thursday says parks across Nigeria have enough plants for pharmaceutical products research.

Goni spoke in Abuja while receiving a six-man delegation from the Environment Media Correspondents Association of Nigeria (EMCAN) on a courtesy visit to his office.

He said that the country’s parks were ready for collaboration with all critical stakeholders for medicinal research.

Goni who has just been reappointed for a second term of five years, said that NPS would also enhance security, welfare, capacity building and sourcing of independent funds in the coming years.

He said that with proper funding and training, the service had the capacity to provide enough plants for medical research that would make Nigeria’s pharmaceutical products popular.

“As one of the basic mandates of the service, we have been carrying out research on our plants and animal resources in the parks.

“We need to carry out more extensive research on them and collaborate with organisations such as NAFDAC, pharmaceutical institutes, traditional medicine dealers and others to use the findings of our research to develop Nigeria.

“We can find solutions to most of the diseases out there through nature with the use of our plants and animal research,” Goni said.

The CG called on entrepreneurs to key into the available Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangements of some parks to take the national parks to global standards.

“The office of the Vice President under the Bureau of Public Enterprises had listed three national parks for commercialisation.

“The service would key into the plans to source for entrepreneurs that would provide the needed infrastructure at the parks.

“National parks in Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa don’t depend on government for funding, We want to explore the areas to see how we can improve our revenue generation through PPP.

“Some of us had traveled to understudy the workings of other national parks and we have gathered a lot of knowledge from the visit,” he said.

Goni said that the service was committed to improve the security of lives and properties of both tourists and workers.

“We plan to acquire an aircraft for increased surveillance of the parks in order to curb insecurity.

“We are also proposing the acquisition of ICT equipment to get detailed digital intelligence and thwart the efforts of would-be invaders at the national parks.

“This would eliminate the series of deaths and injuries sustained by the officers while confronting invaders and poachers at the parks.

“The officers of the service are currently fighting bandits, poachers and hoodlums alongside the army, police and other security agencies,” he said.

Goni commended President Muhammadu Buhari, Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi and officers of the service for their support and roles, which led to his reappointment for another five-year term.

Earlier, the leader of EMCAN delegation, Mr Chuks Oyema lauded the CG for his numerous achievements that led to his reappointment while he prayed for him to excel in the coming years.

Oyema said though the task ahead is tedious, the mass media are willing to work and support his efforts towards enhancing the country’s flora and fauna.

(NAN)

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