Herbal practitioners in Anambra State have been advised to embrace government’s security measures to checkmate activities of kidnappers, ritualists and other criminal elements.
Managing Director of Indigenous Medicine and Herbal Practice Agency, Daniel Ejie, who gave the advice while speaking to newsmen on the import of ongoing bio-data registration aimed at knowing identities and operation bases of herbal practitioners noted that the essence of the database is in line with the vision of Soludo’s administration to provide a regulated and italicised system to identify genuine and quacks in the herbal practice.
Dr Ajie, who said violators of the exercise would be sanctioned appropriately, disclosed that the agency opted to call a meeting to bring different agitating bodies on board for harmony, including the National Association of Traditional Medicine Practitioners (NATMP), Igbo Traditional Associations, and Modern Traditional Association, among others.
He described the allegation that the agency has earned about N200 million from the bio data exercise as baseless and frivolous, even as he revealed that the exercise, which is still ongoing, has not even generated one-quarter of the amount being bandied.
According to him, the government approved the payment of N10,000, as well as N1,000 for membership and identity cards per member, which are paid promptly into government-designated banks and receipted by the agency.
He said the inauguration of the board is under the authority of the state governor and that his detractors are mainly those who have been using the name of the board to allegedly extort and divert money meant for government coffers.
Ejie stated that the core mandate of the agency include capturing all herbal practitioners on the state government’s database, undertaking inspection of operation bases of practitioners for easy identification, registration with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and interfacing with members to identify challenges and assist them.
He noted that members are those who use one root or herb to treat one illness or the other, adding that the inspection of their operation bases would help the agency know if the person is a herbal practitioner or not.
He maintained that the bio-data registration started earlier before Soludo was inaugurated on March 17, this year and that practitioners have been given till November this year to complete their registration.