…As he delivers University’s 4th Inaugural Lecture

A call has gone to the Nigerian government, medical experts and relevant stakeholders to regulate the practice of herbal medicine with a view to tapping the hidden treasures inherent in varieties of herbs and wild life animals in the country.

The Deputy Vice Chancellor of Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Ogun State, Prof. Oluwole Sikiru Banjo made the submission at the 4th Inaugural Lecture of the institution which had the theme: “THE NIGERIA NATURAL/ WILD ENVIRONMENT: REVEALING THE HIDDEN TREASURES FOR HEALTH AND WEALTH”.

Prof. Banjo, a Professor of Wildlife and Ecotourism Management, noted that more investigation should be carried out on dosage, tolerance level and side effects of the medicinal plants so as to redress the belief that there are no dosages for traditional medicine.

The inaugural lecturer called on the government to take a cue from China, India, Indonesia and other developing countries that placed high premium on herbs for curative purpose.

He also added his voice to the controlled use of cannabis sativa, saying that the potential benefits of cannabis far outweighed its psychotropic properties, saying that the use of cannabis for the treatment of glaucoma, epilepsy and seizures as highly effective, adding that “Marijuana has been the source of medicinal drug for centuries. The plant was used as a medicine prior to the development of modern science.
The same psychotropic properties (the famous THC) for which potential benefits of cannabis was banned make the plant suitable to treat numerous diseases. The potential benefits of cannabis far outweigh its psychotropic properties. In the 18th century, marijuana enjoyed a brief period of popularity as a medicinal herb in Europe and the United States. The magical plant was prescribed for treating various conditions such as menstrual cramps, asthma, cough, insomnia, birth labor and migraine”.

On the use of wildlife, he hinted that researches carried out in America has found that the long tailed monkeys could work as a nurse in taking care of paralyzed patients, doing lots of home work, such as opening doors with keys, switching on and off lights, opening refrigerator and feeding her host with spoon as some of the importance of wildlife to human existence.

He further chastised the government for not paying much attention to the economic values of honey, urging them to take advantage of the values added to honey in order to boost economies of the developed world at large and make it a serious revenue earner for the nation, thereby, making it a source of employment for the teeming unemployed Nigerians.

“My zeal for research gained momentum with my Ph.D programme at the University of Ibadan in 1999 under the supervision of Prof. I.A. Ayodele. During this time, my curiosity and interest in studying how honey can be used for healing and on how to boost the production of this miracle fluid (liquids) was heightened. I also researched into how honey production can be a profitable venture for economic gain.
Bee keeping is a very serious revenue earner in developing economies which countries like Nigeria cannot afford to ignore; it helps to generate self and economic reliance aside its health benefits. During the cause of the research, it was found out that bee keeping is a worthwhile and profitable venture, a simple enterprise that can easily be adopted by man because of its numerous advantages. It can act as a good source of income, and gainful self-employment of labour, especially in the area of hive equipment, hive products marketing and sales. The finding created awareness in the business of bee keeping in the study area.

Effect of Bee Hives on Honey Production
In a study carried out in the beekeeping areas of South-Western States of Nigeria. I also researched that honey production was more profitable in the savannah zone of the study area, but the rain forest zone was the most suitable zone for honey production. Amongst these hives types, we have the langroth hive which produced more honey compared to other hives. This information was used to convince local farmers to use langroth hive instead of other local hives and majority of them are now using the modern hives, which has increased their production tremendously in the area”, he added.

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Abayomi Arigbabu, therefore, commended Prof. Banjo for his contributions to the study of wildlife and ecotourism in particular and to the academic cum administrative development of the University at large.

Dignitaries present at the event include the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Olatokunbo Joseph Talabi, traditional rulers, academics from other tertiary institutions, former Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Segun Awonusi, religious groups as well as members of the University Community.

Professor Oluwole Banjo 4th Inaugural lecture