NIGERIA’S former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has lauded the management of the Federal University of Agriculture (FUNÀAB), over its plan to establish a diabetes research centre.
He said that the Centre when operational would promote research and use of medicinal plants for the treatment of the disease and benefit of diabetic patients.
Obasanjo disclosed this when the Board oTrustees, Centre for Advancement of Research in Diabetes in Nigeria during a working visit to a parcel of land allocated by the University for the Centre.
The former president who is the Grand Patron of the Centre noted that the country had not done enough research on medicinal plants in the treatment of the disease.
Obasanjo confirmed the efficacy and effectiveness of herbal medicines, thereby calling on stakeholders and practitioners to promote its cause through research and collaboration.
He said pharmaceutical companies have not extracted up to 20 per cent of needed “active ingredients” in roots and herbs, to cure ailments and diseases, while confirming that China and South Africa had made appreciable progress in the field.
The former President said the initiative would be extended to all universities in Nigeria and Africa, adding that he was happy that the project would be taking-off from FUNAAB, which is located Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
He urged the University to assist in carrying out the perimeter survey, topographic map and directional sign posts for the sites, while the research centre would handle the fencing, stating that staffing would be done between the centre and the University.
The Chairman, Board of Trustees of the centre, Emeritus Professor Oladipupo Akinkugbe, said the project, which was conceived nine years ago, would promote collaborative research for the promotion of Town and Gown; offer curative mechanism for diabetic patients across Africa and ensure health-free society.
Akinkugbe commended FUNAAB for taking the bull by the horn, to host the research centre, saying the University was doing a unique thing and beating other institutions. He stated that the World Health Organisation (WHO), was equally supporting traditional herbal research, because plants were of great medicinal value.
The Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ololade Enikuomehin, expressed appreciation of the entire members of the University community to the former President and the Board of Trustees, for counting FUNAAB worthy to host the centre.
Enikuomehin assured the Board of Trustees of unalloyed support, co-operation and full collaboration towards making the project a reality. He further announced the donation of 30 hectares of land to the centre, saying that the location was carefully chosen, mindful of long-term value to both the centre and the University.