The Director General/Chief Executive Officer of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Dr. Rufus Ebegba has said that the Agency has a responsibility towards the safety of Nigerians, the environment, the realization of government objectives in the diversification of the Nigerian economy towards the actualization of green economy and the economic prosperity of Nigerians.
Dr. Ebegba who said this at a one-day sensitization workshop on the state of Biosafety in Nigeria, which took place in Lagos today (19th July 2021), assured Nigerians that the Federal Government through the Agency is doing everything possible to ensure that Nigerians are all safe.
The NBMA has not been resting on its oars in ensuring that only safe and approved genetically modified seed and grains for food and feed processing are allowed into the Nigerian market hence the constant upgrading of our GM detection and analysis Laboratory and our constant Inspection of GMO facilities, confined field trial sites and multi-locational trial sites. This is for proper Surveillance, tracking and monitoring of GMOs in Nigeria.
Dr. Rufus Ebegba
In a remark, the Head, African Biosafety Network of Expertise (ABNE), African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) Dr. Jeremy Ouedraogo who was represented by the programme officer of the Agency Modupe Adeyemo said that NBMA is known for its proactive initiatives, which have firmly secured Nigeria’s position on the global map regarding biosafety regulation..
“NBMA has earned the reputation of developing regulatory instruments and adopting processes that are informed by international best practices and which serve as reference resources across the world. This sensitization forum is yet another impactful initiative – educating key stakeholders on biosafety regulation. This notable action will enhance effective regulation, driven by meaningful multi-sectoral collaboration, for the benefit of the people.”
He reiterated the commitment of AUDA-NEPAD to promoting strategic partnerships and providing appropriate support that will have a transformative impact in Nigeria and on the continent – in this case improved health and well-being of humans, animals, plants and environment; being the ultimate outcomes of well-functioning biosafety regulatory systems. The Lagos state commissioner for health Professor Akin Abayomi who was represented by Dr. Mutiu stated the commitment of the Lagos state health sector to partner with the Agency in the achievement of its mandate. He commended the giant strides of the Agency while stating that the Agency is making great efforts in ensuring that Nigerians are safe and protected from any unapproved GMO.
The workshop which had in attendance various stakeholders from the Agriculture, health, legal sectors, Nigerian farmers and journalist was aimed at sensitizing Nigerians on the state of Biosafety in Nigeria with regards to genetically modified organisms and their safety, while updating the general public on the activities of the Federal government in the area of Biosafety management in the country.