Director-General/Chief Executive Officer of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Dr Rufus Ebegba, says the agency remains resilient in ensuring human health safety and safety of the environment.
Ebegba made this known in a statement issued on Wednesday, March 10, 2021 in Abuja by Gloria Ogbaki, Head of Press and Protocol unit in the agency.
The statement declared that NBMA would continue to uphold its mandate in ensuring safe delivery and application of modern biotechnology and its products despite all challenges.
“NBMA is delivering on its promise to ensure safety of human health and the environment in the deployment of modern biotechnology for the growth of the Nigerian economy.
“The Agency has continued and will continue to ensure safety to humans, animals, environment, agriculture, economy and ensure biosecurity.
“We will build public confidence in safe products of the technology, carry out risk assessment and risk management and make decisions based on best available science while maximizing benefits and minimising risks.
“Since inception, the NBMA has fulfilled her mandate in ensuring safety by establishing biosafety operational and implementing instruments, which include regulations and guidelines,’’ it explained.
The statement noted that the agency had created a well-equipped National Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) detection and analysis laboratory, development of effective communication channels, accreditation of institutions for modern biotechnology activities and certification of containment facilities.
It said that NBMA had granted permits for commercial release of genetically modified crops as well as encouraged synergy among stakeholders for effective regulation of GMOs and their products.
The statement asserted that the agency was well positioned to ensure safety in the use of modern biotechnology by providing a holistic approach in the regulation of GMOs.
It noted that NBMA also provided an enabling environment for indigenous and foreign scientists to practice modern biotechnology safely under a robust legal framework.
The statement added that the agency had facilitated the opening of new avenues for research institutes and enhanced the economy.
It observed that the law establishing the NBMA was not rushed as Nigeria had been a major global player in issues of biosafety since 1992.
The statement affirmed that the agency signed the biosafety agreement known as the Cartagena protocol on Biosafety in 2000.
By Patience Omoha