At national conference, NBMA tasks FG on safe, modern biotechnology sustenance
The National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) has advised the Federal Government to sustain the country’s adoption of safe use of modern biotechnology to achieve food security and sustainable economic growth.
It also called for the upward review of the funding/budgetary allocation for the agency, considering its achievements and expanded responsibilities following the successful amendment of the NBMA Act in 2019.
These were part of the communiqué issued at the end of its fifth Annual National Biosafety Conference, at the Post Graduate Auditorium, Nasarawa State University, Nasarawa, with the theme: “Biosafety Management in Nigeria: Panacea for Economic Growth and Development.”
The Conference, in collaboration with the Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK), was aimed at enabling stakeholders within and outside the country to cross-fertilize ideas to foster holistic biosafety management for national economic development.
It was also recommended that Biosafety should be included in the curricula of secondary and tertiary institutions in the country.
“All institutions in Nigeria, both private and public undertaking modern biotechnology types of research are encouraged to establish an Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) in line with the NBMA guidelines and seek accreditation of their facilities to deal with modern biotechnology.
“All individuals, organisations- private and public who intend to transit, develop, promote and or commercialise Genetically Modified Organisations (GMOs) must apply for Biosafety Permits before the commencement of activities,” the communiqué read in part.”
It was agreed that the NBMA and all relevant stakeholders should expand public outreach and advocacy to enhance understanding and acceptance of the benefits of biosafety regulation in the country, with an advice that NBMA should continue to partner with all relevant stakeholders in the discharge of its functions.
The Director-General/CEO, Rufus Ebegba emphasised that modern biotechnology is a powerful tool, which needs adequate regulation in harnessing its benefits to ensure safety to human and animal health, and the environment.
He said this led to the establishment of the NBMA to serve as safety verve in the practice of modern biotechnology in the country.
Participants commended the commitment of the NBMA in pioneering and ensuring safe practice and adoption of Modern Biotechnology. They also commended the agency’s steadfastness in organising its annual conferences, which is a sustainable platform for awareness creation on safe biotechnology practices.
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