The House of Representatives plans to legalise the use of Cannabis sativa for economic benefit in Nigeria.
The House Spokesperson, Benjamin Kalu, disclosed this at a media briefing on the benefits and opportunities of Cannabis sativa in Akure, Ondo State, on Monday.
He said the lower legislative chamber would organize a two-day stakeholders’ roundtable on the benefits of Cannabis in Nigeria.
The roundtable, according to him is slated to hold between June 7 and June 8 and will be attended by scientists, medical and pharmaceutical professionals, farmers, insurance companies, business executives, and private sector investors.
Kalu said South Africa and other countries are currently reaping high revenue from Cannabis which they export to other countries.
The spokesman said: “Nigeria has been described as oil-dependent and not oil-rich. It is a worrying reality that we have not optimized the financial advantage that our oil reserves can provide us to diversify our collective investment and revenue sources.
“The COVID-19 pandemic exposed our weaknesses when global oil prices plummeted by as much as 15 percent even falling below $0 a barrel on April 20, 2020.
“Indeed, our economy is still recovering from that shock. However, as the world increasingly shifts towards renewable energy and climate-friendly energy sources, global oil demand will further drop.
“Agriculture has always been a major strength of Nigeria and Cannabis provides interesting prospects. Industrial hemp is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species that is grown specifically for industrial use.
“Once harvested, the crop has a high yield of edible proteins and fibres with more than 50,000 product applications ranging from papermaking, textiles, biodegradable plastics, fuel, construction, healthy food, beverages, personal care products, and pharmaceuticals.”