ABUJA – (Federal Ministry of Science & Technology Report) – The Nigerian Society for Toxicological Science has been charged to ensure the safety of Nigerian exportable food products and natural drugs so as to make them competitive, sustainable and meet the requirements of international standards.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu (Dr) gave the charge when the executive of the society led by its President, Uche Osunkwo (Prof) paid a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja on Monday 17th September, 2018.
Ogbonnaya Onu said that Nigeria needs the vital human capital of the society to convert her resources into products and services for the good of the country. According to the Minister, Nigerian food products with export potentials can only be sustainable and competitive when they meet international standards. He implied that the society should be prepared to assist in ensuring the safety of these products.
While urging the society to lend its help in the area of environmental protection for the nation’s vital herbal resources, he decried the situation in which Nigeria continues to import drugs, rather than process its natural herbs into drugs for local consumption as well as for export. The Ministry, he added will continue to ensure that only useful beneficial products are imported into the country, so as to reduce the cost of healthcare delivery.
Onu charged the society to take advantage of Executive Order 5 to advance the professional interests of the society.
Speaking earlier, the President of the Society, Uche Osunkwo (Prof) briefed the Minister about different areas of toxicological challenges to the Nigerian community like atmospheric, tobacco, oil and gas pollution, food toxicology, lead and other heavy metals toxicology. Other challenges, like drugs and traditional medicines were also identified.
He stressed the importance of implementing toxicological studies for products so that Nigerians can produce beneficial food products of international standard. He also on behalf of the Society invited the Minister to declare open its forthcoming conference scheduled to commence on Tuesday 25th September, 2018. Adding, Nigerian toxicologists, chemists, pharmacologists from all over the country will be making presentations at the conference.