As work intensifies on the development of the Benin Industrial Park, the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said his administration is willing to work with the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) and Pas Herbal to produce drugs from scent leaf and Senna at the park, which will house a pharmaceutical industry.
The governor disclosed this when he received executive members of the NIPRD, who paid him a courtesy visit at Government House, in Benin City, Edo State capital.
While commending the research institute for identifying the state’s competitive advantage in the production of high-value crops, such as scent leaf, senna and oil palm, he noted that his administration would create the enabling environment for the production of drugs from the crops, which will add value to Nigeria’s economy.
He said, “We have identified scent leaf and senna as projects of interest. We will like to enter a tripartite collaboration, so we can identify the areas that the plants will do well and the markets for the products.”
Obaseki noted that the state was collaborating with the Natural Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR) to boost local production and processing of oil palm in the state, adding that a section at the Benin Industrial Park would house a pharmaceutical industry to strengthen collaboration with the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development.
Earlier, Director-General of NIPRD, Dr. Obi Adigwe, said the Institute was seeking collaboration with the Edo State Government to add value to its pharmaceutical company, which is currently not leaving up to expectations.
Noting that the Institute was seeking collaboration with the state government and relevant stakeholders to produce drugs from natural resources, Adigwe said the NIPRD focuses on drug products, processes and development of drug protocols that will enable the state governments to support local production of drugs from natural resources.
“One of the areas of interest to the institute is harnessing natural resources that are specific to some states. Three products have been identified in Edo: scent leaf, senna and oil palm. Senna can be used to make drugs that treat constipation and weight problem. These natural resources could be harnessed by the state government using local people and increasing the value chain of the products for local and international markets.”