By Ebere Agozie
Abuja – Some ministries, departments and agencies (MDA), in collaboration with the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), reviewed and approved the National Strategy for Inclusion in Biosafety.
The exercises are aimed at further strengthening the biosafety regulatory regime and its inclusion in various sectors of the economy.
The document, which was developed by the NBMA, was presented for review and verification by linear MDA representatives at an information workshop organized for key politicians and decision makers on Friday in Abuja.
The strategy is formulated in such a way as to ensure the continued effectiveness of the national biosafety regulatory system and create synergies between the NBMA and its subsidiary agencies to stimulate national growth and economic development.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Rufus Ebegba, Director General of NBMA, said that in efforts to ensure sustainable cooperation between government agencies, the agency decided to regularly involve relevant stakeholders in their contribution to the decision-making process.
“The strategy document defines the legislation and policies of linear MDA and analyzes entry points for biosafety to ensure smooth interaction with each institution,” he said.
MDA representatives at the event declared their willingness to cooperate with NBMA in regulating genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to ensure that the use of modern biotechnology does not cause any harm to people and the environment.
Ms. Kadiri Halima, Biosafety Officer at NAFDAC, stressed the need for all parties to work together to ensure the safety of all Nigerians and the environment in biotechnology applications.
The Nigeria News Agency (NAN) recalls that NBMA already has a functional Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NAFDAC, the Nigerian Agricultural Seed Council (NASC), the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) and the Nigeria Standardization Organization (SON).
The Memorandum of Understanding is consistent with efforts to fulfill the mandate of the NBMA to ensure an adequate level of protection in the field of safe transmission, processing and use of GMOs.
NAN also reports that some of the MDAs included in this strategy include the Federal Ministry of the Environment, the Nigerian Customs Service, NAQS, NASC, Consumer Protection Council (CPC), and NAFDAC.
Others are the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.