The former Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, has said two Nigerian agencies have developed a drug “used in testing women who have breast cancer” with another in the pipeline “which has gone very far” in the cure of leprosy.
He said this during his ministerial screening at the Senate on Wednesday. He was the sixth nominee to be screened by the lawmakers.
Mr Onu, who is a former governor of Abia State, briefed the Senate of his achievements during his tenure as a minister. He said his ministry did something revolutionary by gradually moving Nigeria away from an economy depending on resources to become knowledge and innovation-driven.
He said an agency under the Ministry of Science and Technology has already developed and gone very far in the cure for one of the very deadly diseases.
“But it is normally a very long process to pass through the certification,” Mr Onu said.
“To show you that we have achieved so much, the Nigeria Natural Medicine Development agency has developed a drug, using our own local herbs, that is being used to test women who have breast cancer. This will take some time before the certification is completed.”
The former minister also stressed the need for Nigerian institutions to commercialise their research findings.
When asked what would be his focus if re-appointed minister of science and technology, he said one of the things his ministry wanted to achieve was to promote research findings.
“Most researches done in our universities ended up being used as promotion and career advancement. This is good but it would be better if these research findings are commercialised. So as a minister, we achieved a lot in this area. Once you do this, you will be able to make money and create jobs,” he said.
Sam Egwu asked Mr Onu about the ‘missing’ Nigerian satellite and his response was that Nigerian satellite is not missing.
“When the satellite had problems, the Chinese replaced that satellite. So at no point was it lost,” he said.
Meanwhile, former senator and ministerial nominee, Adeleke Mamora, was asked to take a bow and leave.
Shortly after the former lawmaker gave highlights of his curriculum vitae, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, reminded the lawmakers of their “tradition” after which both Majority and Minority Leaders moved that he take a bow.
Mr Lawan described the nominee as a person who continued to be an ambassador of the National Assembly even after he heft and urged him to keep doing so.
The lawmakers thereafter unanimously agreed to ask Mr Mamora to take a bow and go.