Senator Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, the representative of Kogi Central in the Senate, has pledged to facilitate collaboration between the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). The aim is to strengthen the complementary medicine and local content industry sector.
During an oversight visit to some MDAs by the Senate Committee on Health on Tuesday, Senator Natasha, who chairs the Senate Committee on Local Content, emphasized the importance of this collaboration.
She highlighted the need to establish high-tech laboratories to further research in alternative medicine and pharmaceutical products. Additionally, the collaboration aims to support the growth of indigenous start-ups in the medical field.
Senator Natasha drew attention to the interest shown by countries like Israel and the United States in alternative medicine, pointing out that some raw materials used in their products are sourced from African countries, including Nigeria. She stressed the potential for Nigeria to invest in developing locally sourced raw materials into clinically proven drugs to address health challenges.
She expressed confidence in the readiness of the Local Content sector for collaboration and mentioned existing funds with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Bank of Industry. The senator proposed converting structures, like those in the NOGAPS Industrial Parks, into medical high-tech hubs to facilitate empirical and clinical research.
In response, the Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof Moji Adeyeye, raised concerns about the lack of support from the federal government for the development of the alternative medicine sector. She emphasized the importance of increased clinical research to regulate practitioners and products in the country effectively.
Senator Natasha’s initiative seeks to foster synergy between key agencies, promoting research and development in alternative medicine while supporting local content and indigenous businesses in the medical field.