Minister tasks NBMA on public sensitisation
The Minister of Environment, Suleiman Hassan Zarma has commended the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), for the proper implementation of its mandates.
Zarma, who gave the commendation when he visited the agency on a familiarisation tour in Abuja, however urged the agency not to relent in sensitising the public to distinguish between its role of regulating for safety and the promotion of the technology, saying the public is most times confused on the role of the NBMA.
He also said the agency needs to be supported and encouraged in view of its regulatory activities, with a promise that the Ministry of Environment will continue to ensure that the NBMA executes its responsibilities as contained in the Act that established it.
In his presentation, the Director General/Chief Executive Officer of the Agency, Dr. Rufus Ebegba briefed the Minister on the milestones of the agency since inception, noting that one of the greatest challenges facing it, is the opinion that the agency was established to stop Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), hence whatever it does otherwise is heavily criticised.
Ebegba said contrary to the view that the agency was established to stop GMOs, it was rather established to ensure safety of products, making sure that it does not cause harm to the environment and humans.
“One of the greatest challenges facing us is the fact that people think we were established to stop GMOs…unregulated GMOs are bound to be abused. That is why NBMA was established to ensure safety,” Ebegba stated.
He also highlighted funding as a major draw back for the agency, as the budgetary allocation is grossly inadequate to take care of its needs.