Biosafety agency reinforces collaboration with Police



Ebegba made this known in a statement issued by Gloria Ogbaki, Head of Press, NBMA, in Abuja on Friday after a courtesy visit to the Commissioner of Police, FCT Command, Bala Ciroma.

He said the purpose of the meeting was to strengthen the collaboration between both organisations.

“We have come to acquaint ourselves with the new Commissioner of Police and ensure that our pre-existing collaboration with the Police continues seamlessly.

“This is to guarantee that our mandate to safeguard the use, handling and transportation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) is carried out effectively,’’ Ebegba said.

In his remarks, Ciroma gave an assurance that the collaboration between NBMA and the Nigeria Police would continue.

The commissioner said that it was part of the duty of the police to collaborate with regulatory agencies to ensure their mandates were carried out effectively.

“We understand the significance of your agency to Nigeria’s economy and how important your work is to achieving Nigeria’s food security.

“Therefore, we would do as much as possible to assist you in your responsibilities.

“We will have a better Nigeria where people can go to sleep without hunger,’’ he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the NBMA was established in 2015 by an Act of Parliament.

It ensures adequate level of protection in the field of safe transfer, handling and use of GMOs, resulting from modern biotechnology that may have adverse effects on conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.



COVID-19: Biosafety D-G urges Nigerians to abide by stay at home directive



Dr Rufus Ebegba, Director-General, National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), has advised Nigerians to abide by the stay at home order by the Federal Government to prevent the spread of  Coronavirus.

Ebegba gave this advice in statement made available to News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Monday.

He expressed dismay over the flagrant abuse of the stay at home directives of the Federal Government as part of efforts to curb and eliminate the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.

Ebegba said the pandemic was now spreading into communities and it was becoming alarming as community spread of the disease would be difficult to trace and manage due to the nature of some communities in the country.

“This Virus has started transmitting into communities and this is going to be bad for us as a nation, if it is not properly managed and it can only be managed with the cooperation of the citizens.

” The community spread of this virus is dangerous as contact tracing will be difficult and some people with the disease do not show any immediate symptoms.

“This will in turn cause further spreading of the virus, spelling doom for the country.

He said the cooperation of every individual was needed in other to eliminate this harmful Biological Agent.

“The President has given directives and it is the duty of every Nigerian to do his/her part by following the directive of staying at home, maintaining physical distancing and abiding by other hygienic practices.

“When everyone is at home and physical distance is maintained, the virus will stop spreading and cases will drastically reduce.

“COVID-19 is in battle with humanity but our collective will, commitment and faithfulness to directives will go a long way for us to over come this invisible scourge that has threatened our existence,” he said.

The director-general appealed to Nigerians to endure and be patient with the government, which he said was doing everything possible to ensure that citizens are safe and their welfare taken care of.

” Nigerians should ensure they keep abiding by the safety precautionary measures in other not to contact the novel virus as there is no cure and the only way to stop the spread is for everyone to fight in unity”.

Ebegba said the NBMA was in synergy with relevant agencies in ensuring that efforts are being made to combat the pandemic as all hands are on deck to ensure that COVID-19 is contained and eliminated in Nigeria.

Edited By: Deji Abdulwahab/Felix Ajide (NAN)



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Coronavirus – Nigeria: The Lagos State Biosafety Level-3 Laboratory activated for COVID-19 testing




 The Lagos State Biosafety Level-3 Laboratory has been has been activated for #COVID19 testing. This brings the number of COVID-19 testing labs in Nigeria to 9 In progress- Maiduguri, Kano, Sokoto, Port Harcourt, Jos & Kaduna.

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COVID-19: Biosafety boss urges citizens to abide by stay at home directive



Dr Rufus Ebegba, Director-General, National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), has urged Nigerians to abide by the stay at home directive by the Federal Government in other to control the spread of COVID-19.

Egbeba in a statement in Abuja on Thursday, said the COVID-19 pandemic had spread to many countries of the world including Nigeria.

He added that the Federal Government was doing all in its power to ensure Nigerians were safe from the adverse impact of the virus.

“The Federal Government has the interest of its citizens at heart, that is why every citizen should do his/her part by complying to the stay at home directives by the government.”

“As a nation we can defeat this pandemic but it behooves on us to do everything possible to ensure that we fight together to win the battle; we seek the corporation of Nigerians in this fight.

Egbeba said simple practices of staying safe, social distancing, ensuring proper hygiene through constant hand washing, using hand sanitisers and keeping the basic directives by the authorities would go a long way to curb the pandemic.

“The Federal Government is making very swift moves to ensure that the Coronavirus is properly contained, hence citizens should complement the governments efforts by obeying directives.

“I urge that anyone who has recently returned from countries with high cases of COVID-19 or has been in contact with anyone who has shown symptoms of the disease should present him or herself for tests and proper screening.

“The government has expanded the isolation centres to ensure that the spread is minimised as much as possible until the pandemic is contained and eliminated.”

The D-G said self-isolation was key to stop the spread of the disease and urged those with confirmed cases to make themselves available in the designated centres for quarantine and proper recovery process.

He said the NBMA was in constant talks with line ministries, departments and agencies to chart the best way to eliminate this Biological Agent from the country.

“As an agency we are working with line MDAs to come up with a harmonised national Biosecurity policy guideline and emergency response strategy.

“This strategy when in place will help to save humans and the environment from harmful biological agents.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has called for the urgent need for this strategy and the need to urgently ensure that biological agents are controlled.”

The D-G urged Nigerians not to panic but rather ensure to follow laid down procedures adding that people should stop the spread of fake and unverified news as it would further send panic to others.

Ebegba assured Nigerians that in spite of the challenges caused by the pandemic globally and in Nigeria, government would continue to ensure that citizens were not adversely affected.

Edited By: Donald Ugwu

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COVID-19: Biosafety agency calls for national biosecurity policy, emergency response strategy



The National Biosafety Management Agency of Nigeria (NBMA) has called for a harmonised national biosecurity policy guideline and emergency response strategy to prevent harmful biological agents in the environment.

Dr Rufus Ebegba, the Director-General, made the call in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Abuja on Tuesday against the backdrop of  the global pandemic COVID-19.

Ebegba said the need to develop a biosecurity policy and emergency response strategy for Nigeria was timely as COVID-19 pandemic had brought to the fore the need to control biological agents.

According to him, those agents may be harmful to human health and the environment.

“You see everything has its own time and globally the issue of biosecurity has not been brought into international discuss in an elaborate way.

“But what has happened is going to give the globe a different perspective on the issue of biosecurity. So Nigeria coming in with a policy and strategy is very timely.

“We want a centralised system knowing full well that the agency has been given the mandate to put in place biosecurity measures.

“We want to work with existing structures to see how we can have a national position to have a national biosecurity policy and to have a national biosecurity emergency response strategy,” he said.

According to him, what happened is as a result of harmful biological agents that are hazardous to human health, so the strategies needed are to tackle emergencies.

The D-G said that the guidelines and regulations to be developed would ensure those who maliciously release harmful biological agents into the environment were punished.

He, however, said the agency had prescribed penalties for violations on issues of biosafety.

Ebegba said that the Federal Government needed to ensure that proper funding of the process was adequately concluded that the health of Nigerians and the environment would be protected.

He assured Nigerians that though the pandemic had caused a lot of changes in the global economy, the government of Nigeria was adequately prepared to properly contain it through preventive measures.

Ebegba said the Federal Government had set up a coalition of government agencies, which the NBMA was a part of, to ensure the proper management of COVID-19.

He said the agency had joined voices with other government agencies to ensure the public was properly enlightened on how to prevent COVID-19.

“We have come out with press statements, and to ensure we are protected against it, we have developed some flyers which we have put on our website.’’

The biosafety boss urged Nigerians not to panic assuring that government had put in place all necessary measures to ensure the pandemic was properly contained in the country.

“We also seek the cooperation from Nigerians and we want to strongly advise that everyone should avoid those countries where the prevalence are more pronounced for now.

“Also anyone that comes from such countries should make themselves available for proper screening.

“If the person needs to be quarantined, the government has designated quarantine centers to ensure the spread in minimised as much as possible.”

Edited By: Josephine Obute/Grace Yussuf

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