The National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) has alerted Nigerians on tons of genetically modified (GM) maize imported into the country without necessary approvals.
NBMA Director General/CEO, Dr. Rufus Ebegba, who made this known at a news on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 in Abuja, said that the Agency got notice of the importation through an intelligence report and has set in motion necessary machineries to track the importers and bring them to book.
“The NBMA got an intelligence report on the importation of GM Maize into the country. We have no application from anyone on this and we are not aware of any move to bring in this maize. The NBMA Act 2015 has stipulated steps and procedures for the importation, production and processing of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in the country and we will ensure that the act is strictly followed,” Dr. Ebegba added.
He urged the general public not to panic as the Agency would never compromise on its mandate of ensuring that the safety of Nigerians and the environment was topmost in its dealings. Adding that with an already existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the NBMA and the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), the products can’t be allowed into the country without adherence to due diligence.
He said that the Agency was empowered by law to carry out a risk assessment of the imported product before it will be allowed into the country to ensure that it is safe.