As part of efforts to improve capacity of its staff to regulate the application of modern biotechnology in the country, the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), today began a three-day risk assessment and risk management training for scientific officers of the Agency.
NBMA Director General/CEO, Dr Rufus Ebegba, while opening the training in Abuja,said that the Agency views training and retraining, especially in the revolving field of biosciences, as a crucial step in the regulation of themodern biotechnology in the country.
He noted that, modern biotechnology is a new area of science in Nigeria therefore, regulating it requires that officers of the NBMA be very competent and up to date in the execution of the Agency’s mandate.
Dr Ebegba said although Nigeria has some of the most competent and knowledgeableofficers on issues of Biosafety on the continent, the need for training and retraining of these staff cannot be over emphasized.
He said the training will enlighten the officers on the major techniques applied in the Agency. “They will be trained on risk assessment, risk management, hazards management and a whole new methodology in modernbiotechnology application”.
The training facilitator, Dr Paul Keese, said that the evolution of science requires regulators of critical sectors such as modern biotechnology, to constantly refresh their memories and to ensure that their activities are in tunewith current trends in the sector.
Dr Paul, who is a former Australian gene regulator and now works with the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), said the training will build the capacity of scientific officers of the Agency on how to handle issues of risk context, risk identification, and risk evaluation.