NBMA canvasses regular training for biotech regulators to improve yields
Regulators of modern biotechnology need to be trained to ensure that Nigeria benefits maximally from the technology, for effective biosafety management in the country.
Director General, National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Dr. Rufus Ebegba made this observation while opening a training session at Abuja for staff of the agency organised in conjunction with M and A Global Projects tagged: “Capacity Building For Effective Biosafety Management In Nigeria.”
He said due to evolving technology, the need to train and retrain staff, who will be regulating products in the country cannot be overemphasised.
The four-day training according to Ebegba is part of Federal Government’s strategy to build staff capacity and to ensure effective regulation of modern biotechnology in the country.
He said the agency was not established by government to stop Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), or to promote it, but to ensure it is safe to human health and the environment.
He said: “Biosafety is crucial to our economy, as it will bring about more agricultural yields for food sufficiency and profits for farmers.
“The issue of biosafety has been on the front burner. Even the permits granted by the Agency last year have been criticised by many environmentalists. NBMA has been taken to court, but we are not deterred. There is a need to equip our staff for proper regulation, as we will not allow Nigeria to become a dumping ground for unsafe GMO products.
“Our key responsibility is to serve as an unbiased umpire to ensure that the practice of modern biotechnology is safe, while it boosts the economy.”
Also speaking, Director, Environmental Biosafety, Chinyere Nzeduru said the workshop is meant to equip staff of the agency with relevant skills needed for the discharge of their duties.
“This Agency is a very sensitive one, as issues of modern biotechnology are very technical and require people who are up to date and knowledgeable to carry out biotechnology regulations in the country.”