The Director General/Chief Executive Officer of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Dr Rufus Ebegba, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020 in Abuja inaugurated the committee for the drafting of the National Biosecurity Policy.
While inaugurating the committee, the DG/CEO charged the members to put in their utmost best to ensure that a draft National Policy on Biosecurity is made available within a short time time frame.
According to him, the draft policy when completed would be forwarded to the Federal Executive Council through the Federal Ministry of Environment.
Dr Ebegba said the committee should look at areas where there are existing national biosecurity policies and come up with a draft document which will form a blueprint that will ensure that Nigeria’s involvement in biosecurity globally will be properly streamlined and harnessed.
He said: “Nigeria will not be caught unawares as there are moves in place to ensure that Nigeria responds promptly to organisms that threaten our environment and human health.
“The ultimate aim is to have a healthy environment and healthy citizens so that the productivity of the nation can be properly harnessed and actualised.”
Ebegba reiterated commitment of the NBMA to developing a sound and holistic biosafety and biosecurity system in Nigeria and Africa.
Director of the African Union Development Agency (AUDA) African Biosafety Network of Expertise (ABNE), Dr Jeremy Ouedraogo, who joined the meeting along side his team online, commended the agency and the DG/CEO for his unending resolve in ensuring that biosafety and biosecurity in Nigeria and Africa are not left at the back seat.
He said the African Union is working with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to develop a policy, noting that ABNE would support Nigeria through the drafting process.
“NBMA has a duty to serve West Africa and you are doing that very well. We will make our team available to support the drafting team in any capacity,”
Dr Jeremy said, even as he congratulated the committee members and commended the DG/CEO for his leadership.
Chairman of the committee and Director of Biosecurity Department of the NBMA, Chinyere Nzeduru, who spoke on behalf of members of the committee, commended the DG/CEO for trusting the members with the task.
She assured that the committee would not rest on its oars in ensuring the development of a draft policy within the laid down time frame.
The 20-man committee is expected to hit the ground running while ensuring that the first draft policy is made available on July 17, 2020.