The Nigerian government will adopt any safe technology in order to engender food security and economic recovery drive for the country, Minister of State for Environment Ibrahim Jibril said Thursday.
Speaking at a National Biosafety Conference in Abuja, the nation’s capital, Jibril said food security is crucial for good health, peace and stability for the survival of a nation.
He added that the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration is committed to adopting any safe technology that will facilitate its food security and economic recovery drive for the country.
The minister told his audience that a secure nation is the one that grows its own food, processes what it produces, competes confidently with international markets and create jobs for its youths.
“I believe you will agree with me that nothing is more important than food and that a nation that failed to feed its people is a failed nation,” he said.
The minister told the gathering that the only way to achieve economic growth, food security and sufficiency and sustainable environment is through innovation of safe and smart scientific bio-safety technology.
In the same vein, the Director-General of National Bio-safety Management Agency (NBMA), Rufus Ebegba, assured Nigerians of the safety steps taken by the agency to ensure the genuineness of the products from the Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
He said the national bio-safety agency has the responsibility to ensure that the practice of modern biotechnology and the use of genetically modified organism, which are product of modern biotechnology, do not have any adverse impact on the conservation.
Ebegba also used the occasion to alert the nation of the agency’s effort in collaboration with the Nigerian Customs to check the fake bio-safety products brought into the country.
Africa has been reluctant to adopt GM technology for crop production. Recent developments suggest that many African nations are poised to overcome domestic and international opposition and embrace GM technology as a means of boosting their agriculture sector.
Nigeria is poised to emerge as a leader in African biotechnology development nearly two years after the country passed a landmark bio-safety bill.
The government was, however, re-positioning its research institutes and universities of agriculture to conduct research on how to boost agricultural production and attain food security.