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NBMA intensifies effort on national biosecurity response strategy


The National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) said it is putting together a national biosecurity response strategy to organisms that can cause harm to humans and the environment.
Director-General/Chief Executive Officer of the agency, Dr. Rufus Ebegba, who disclosed this during the training of personnel of its newly created Biosecurity Department, said the training will make them proactive in their responsibility of regulating Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO).
“Biological agents can be used to cause trade war or do harm, as some may want to use these Biological agents to discredit the agricultural products of a country from being marketable in the international community. It is now a part of the agency’s mandate to ensure that every Biological agent is monitored and contained in a safe manner, and to drive issues of Biosecurity at the national level,” he said.
Ebegba noted that for NBMA to ensure that the issues of Biosecurity are properly addressed then there must be a consultative forum between the NBMA and the line ministries, agencies and departments, which will look into having a National Biosecurity policy, National Biosecurity Emergency Response Strategy and to identify the likely Biological agents that can cause harm among other issues.
He said the training will be an ongoing capacity one, strengthening so that the staff of the agency can be regularly kept abreast with international best practices.
Vice President, Nigerian Biosafety Association, Dr. Stella Udo, in a paper presentation charged staff of the agency to always be at alert as the intentions of modern Biotechnology could be distorted for selfish reasons that could jeopardise human health and biodiversity. 

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NBMARufus Ebegba
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