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The Agency reiterates its commitment to biosafety in Nigeria



The Agency reiterates its commitment to biosafety in Nigeria

By Patience Omoha

The National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) has submitted a draft national biosafety policy to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for review and approval.

Dr Rufus Ebegba, director general / chief executive of the agency, revealed it on Friday in Abuja in a statement signed by Gloria Ogbaki, head of the press and protocol unit of the NBMA.

Ebegba noted that the agency was also carrying out expert reviews of other regulatory instruments and possible validation of the guidelines on genetically modified (GM) fish, trees, birds, animals and mosquitoes.

“The NBMA will continue to ensure that its mandate is carried out and deal with biosafety requests, the national investigation and monitoring of GMOs and the inspection of GMO farms, companies and research institutes.

“As well as the development of a risk management plan and a strategy for the protection of human and animal health and the environment.

“Development of models for risk assessment, creation of an NBMA data center and an integrated monitoring system, participation in the United Nations COP-MOP, among others,” he explained.

He highlighted the agency’s achievements in 2020 to include, the creation of the biosafety department and organization, a consultative meeting of national stakeholders and the drafting of a national biosafety policy.

The CEO, however, lamented that despite its relative successes, the agency had been hampered by some challenges, including lack of suitable office space for the agency’s national headquarters, insufficient funding, between other.

He asked the Senate committee to help and work with the agency to find solutions to the challenges.

The Chairman of the Senate Environment Committee, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, praised the NBMA for its efforts to ensure the health of Nigerians and the environment, despite the agency’s low funding.

Ekweremadu promised that the agency’s needs would be adequately met as the committee was ready to work with the agency to ensure the fulfillment of its mandate of facilitating the safety of human health and the environment. (NOPE)


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