The Federal Executive Council, FEC, has approved the establishment of a Council for Traditional, Alternative, and Complementary Medicine Practice in the country.
This was disclosed to State House Correspondents on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, by the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, after the weekly virtual FEC meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Minister, who was in the company of three of his colleagues, explained that the memo, which is a bill seeking to explore the qualities of the traditional and alternative medicine fields in the country.
According to him, the bill would also take care of protection for intellectual property rights of the practitioners of the medicine field, adding that the ministry would work with appropriate agencies on research and studies.
“The Ministry of Health presented a memo today, which I presented, and it’s on a bill to establish a Council for Traditional, Alternative and Complementary Medicine Practice in Nigeria and this is a memo that seeks to take traditional and complementary medicine out of obscurity and give it a profile to institutionalise it, as has been done in other countries, particularly China and India.
“The outbreak of COVID-19 has renewed the call for home-grown solutions to all these public health diseases and to find the value in our traditional medicines and this is an opportunity with which traditional medicine’s practice can, not only upscaled, but also regulated because there are also areas of malpractice that should be checked.
“It will also provide for the possibility of trainings, setting up institutions and also being able to research further, working with the Institute of Pharmaceutical Research of Nigeria to actually dig out the values that are in our traditional medicines, where they can be used and be used for research.
“There’s also conversation about protecting the intellectual property rights of who know these medicines. My attention was drawn to the fact that property rights are not so easily protected the way we define them, they are defined differently, but the protection of traditional knowledge is something that can also be established, on which we are going to be discussing with the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment, to protect the knowledge that has been accumulated over several generations, which is in the custody of traditional practitioners.
“By and large, this is a memo that meets a lot of demands and serves a lot of purposes,” he said.
Also, Briefing, the Minister of Environment, Muhammad Mahmood, said the FEC approved a national policy on plastic waste management in Nigeria.
The Minister lamented that plastic waste is the second form of waste the country needs to deal with.
He however said plastic can be recycled to produce blocks, new plastics, and palettes for the production of interlocks and many more.
He, however, said the Ministry of Environment had built some plastic recycling plants across the country, which would serve as a pilot scheme, adding that the private sector would have the opportunity to dominate the recycling plants.
“The Federal Ministry of Environment today presented a memo on the National Policy on plastic waste management in Nigeria. Recall that about three months ago, we presented a memo on solid waste management and plastic being one of the compositions of total waste, has a significant place in the total waste regime because of its non-biodegradable nature and we have plastics littered all over the place, which is an environmental hazard to both humans and animals.
“What this policy seeks to do is to seize the opportunity of our paradigm shift from linear to circular economy. The standard procedure in the past was, you produce, you use, and dispose and we just realised that we cannot continue to do that and plastic has lent itself to recycling or reuse. Therefore, what this policy intends to achieve is to capitalise on that property of it being reused. Currently,” the Minister explained.
“There is a lot of this waste. Nigeria has a population of 200 million and plastic waste is like the second in terms of quantity of total waste being produced in Nigeria today,” he said.
Meanwhile, the FEC also ratified Nigeria’s membership of International Coffee Organisation.
Adeniyi Adebayo, the minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, who revealed this at the end of the meeting said the ratification now gives Nigeria full membership status at the organisation.
According to him, Nigeria, which had signed the agreement since 2008, had missed out on a lot of benefits available to members of the organisation.
“My Ministry presented a memo on the need for us to ratify our membership of International Coffee organisation. We signed the International Coffee agreement in the year 2008 and yesterday, Nigeria had no ratified this agreement and a result of not having ratified, we only had observer status in the organisation and unfortunately, there are a lot of things that come with full membership that the country had been missing on.
“Now that the council has approved the ratification some of the benefits that will come to the country would include allocation of coffee development project, access to consultative fora on coffee sector finance, where our farmers will have access to where they can raise funds to improve farm yield, we will be in the for a where producing and consuming countries create policies relating to international coffee trade and we will also have access to statistical data of the world coffee trade and economy amongst other,” he said.
Source: The Nation