2022 NATIONAL BIOSAFETY AND BIOSECURITY CONFERENCE: FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WILL CONTINUE TO DEPLOY SAFE AGRICULTURAL BIOTECHNOLOGY TO TACKLE FOOD INSECURITY.
The Director General National Biosafety Management Agency, Dr. Rufus Ebegba, has stated that the government is conscious of the contemporary challenges affecting agricultural capabilities and will deploy safe technology to boost food production in the country. DG said this during the 6th National Biosafety-cum-Biosecurity Conference held on 28th and 29th November, 2022.
Dr. Ebegba stated that the growing population requires safe ingenious method to provide sufficient food for Nigerians. He said, “NBMA was not established to stop genetically modified organisms. Our mandate is to see that the biotechnology tool does not pose threat to human health and the biodiversity at large.’’ We are mandated to provide biosafety and ensure biosecurity, he added.
Dr. Ebegba said the annual conference is aimed at showcasing Nigerian Biosafety and Biosecurity system which enables discussion with the stakeholders with the view of coming up with suggestions on how to improve the biosafety-cum-biosecurity system in the country. DG aknowledged the tremendous contributions of the various stakeholders to ensuring Nigeria is protected against biothreats. He added that the National Biosecurity policy that was developed by NBMA is world standard and first of its kind in Africa.
Let me also recognize the contributions of the various stakeholders to the development of this National policy. For the last one year we had received other biosafety regulators who came to understudy our biosafety and biosecurity system.
Dr. Rufus Ebegba
The Federal Minister of Environment Hon. Mohammed H. Abduallahi, ably represented by the Director Human Resources Mr. Lawrence Adigwe said, federal government remains committed to addressing food insecurity in the country. He said food security is important to the stability and survival of every Nation. “I urge all hands to be on deck to protect our biodiversity while deploying agricultural biotechnology to boost food production.’’ He also stated that the federal ministry of environment will continue to partner with all stakeholders to exploit relevant technologies that will provide safe and adequate food for Nigerians.
Lawrence Adigwe stressed that the National Bisoafety Management Agency (NBMA) under the aegis of the federal ministry of environment will not rest on its oars till the establishing mandate is achieved.
The vice chancellor of Abuja University Prof. Abdul Rasheed Na’Allah, represented by the Director of studies Prof. Wasiu Gabadeen in a remark, stated that the University is ready to partner with NBMA to strengthening biosafety and biosecurity system in the country.
He said that the conference was important as it enabled discussion which the outcome will help to ensure a stronger and efficient biosafety and biosecurity system in the country.
The Head planning, research and statistics National Biosafety Management Agency Mrs. Bello Scholastica said, the objective of this year conference was to bring together the various experts in other to seek relevant inputs to improve the biosafety-cum-biosecurity system in the country.
She also noted that international treaties which Nigeria signed and ratified mandated Nigeria to put in place necessary biosafety and biosecurity measures in other to protect the country against harmful biological agents.