The National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), alongside the Voice of Nigeria (VON), has inaugurated a 10-man joint committee as part of efforts to ensure effective publicity of the activities of the NBMA.
The two parties also drafted a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will help to increase awareness on the regulation of modern biotechnology and its products in the country and ensure effective publicity of the activities of the NBMA.
Dr. Rufus Ebegba, Director General/CEO of NBMA, during the inauguration of the joint committee in Abuja, lauded the need for the collaboration between NBMA and VON, saying that the NBMA needed partners that would be true to its mandate to regulate the safe practice of modern biotechnology in Nigeria.
Dr. Ebegba said that the joint committee would ensure that the objectives of the proposed MoU are achieved as the MoUs signed with other sister agencies have created a foundation for effective regulation and synergy.
“We believe in fostering collaborations with agencies that will drive the mandate of the Agency to regulate the safe practice of modern biotechnology with intent to improve our socio-economic life. This collaboration with VON will strengthen the accurate dissemination of information,” he added.
Mr. Osita Okechukwu, Director General of VON, during the inauguration, acknowledged the importance of accurate news reportage of the activities of NBMA and its role in regulating modern biotechnology as, according to him, the country has increased its export of agricultural produce to diversify the economy.
“We need to ensure that products going out of our country are safe, so we are prepared to understand the policies of NBMA and thereby report factually and with depth,” Okechukwu submitted.
The purpose of the joint committee, it was gathered, is to solidify collaboration between the parties for effective publicity on biosafety and proper regulation of modern biotechnology and the use of GMOs in Nigeria. The joint committee is expected to begin work on the MOU with the view of bridging the information gap between the Agency and the public.