The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, has said that indigenous plants and herbs can be used to find cures to epilepsy and different forms of cancer, for the benefit of Nigerians and other countries.
Dr Onu made this known at a working visit of the Director UNESCO regional office Dakar and OIC UNESCO regional office Abuja, Dr Dimitri Sanga in his office in Abuja, yesterday.
He said that the Federal Government is working hard to reduce the gender gap in the development of STI in Nigeria, adding that policies are being put on the ground to encourage girls and women participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Dr Onu added that the Ministry is working to reverse the degradation of the biosphere through policies like Methanol Fuel Technology, as it will help to manage the effects of gas flaring and environmental degradation.
He informed the UNESCO delegation, that the research Institutes under the supervision of the Ministry are run and built on world-class standards.
The Minister further hailed the cordial relationship between Nigeria and UNESCO, describing it as a firm, fruitful and long-standing, adding that the existing relationship should be strengthened.
Earlier, the Director UNESCO regional office Dakar and OIC UNESCO regional office Abuja, Dr Dimitri Sanga, said the aim of his visit was to work closely and look for ways to collaborate with the Nigerian government.
He added that the issue of gender-gap should be looked into, as girls and women should be encouraged through government policy to embrace Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
The Minister described Nigeria as Africa’s powerhouse and there should be a need for Nigerian research institutes to be UNESCO category one centres.