The Director General (DG) of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Dr Rufus Ebegba, has assured that only safe Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are allowed in Nigeria.
Ebegba, who said this at a media chat with journalists in Abuja on Thursday, December 29, 2022, disclosed that the agency has ensured that only safe modern biotechnology activities and GMO products are allowed in Nigeria.
He said that there were guidelines to ensure effectiveness in the discharge of the agency’s mandate.
Ebegba said that the agency has created a robust synergy among stakeholders for effective regulation of GMOs and their products as well as signing of MoU with relevant regulatory agencies.
“This is ensured through biosafety risk assessment and regular nationwide survey/surveillance, tracking and profiling of GMOs to ensure compliance with the Biosafety Permit conditions,” he said.
Ebegba said that the agency has established a Biosafety National GMO Detection and Analysis Laboratory with standard equipment.
“NBMA has become a training hub for local and international university students on GMO Detection and Analysis.
“Nigeria is benefiting from safe modern biotechnology under a legal framework for economic growth.
“Improved agriculture, job and wealth creation, industrial growth and sustainable environment as operators now have confidence in the sector,” the DG said.
He affirmed that the reduction of risks to human health from the practice of modern biotechnology practice and the use of GMOs were at their barest minimum.
“Dumping of unauthorised GMOs in Nigeria is now at its barest minimum, potential risk and socio-economic consequences of unauthorised GMOs are being guarded against,” Ebegba said.
He said that there would be the development of the National Biosecurity Policy and Action Plan 2022-2026 using one-health approach.
Ebegba reaffirmed Nigeria’s commitment to the principles of international agreements and treaties to Convention on Biological Diversity and Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.
“In 2023, the Agency will consolidate on its achievements, create more awareness and break new grounds,” he said.
By Abigael Joshua