The Minister of State for Environment, Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor has commended the National Biosafety Management Agency, NBMA, for its efforts in ensuring that the activities of modern biotechnology and its products were properly regulated in Nigeria.
She handed the commendation when she paid a working visit to the agency on Monday.
Ikeazor noted that since inception, the NBMA has achieved so much by putting in place appropriate measures to protect human health and the environment from the potential harmful impact of products of modern biotechnology.
“The world we live now demands an agency like NBMA as transboundary movement of organisms need to be checked in order to nip in the bud any threat of bioterrorism. I think the agency is doing a great job for all of us. I am quite impressed by what I have seen today. Your trained staff and the state-of-the-art detection and analysis laboratory, are pointers that Nigeria is going in the right direction in terms of regulation of modern Biotechnology,” she said.
The Minister promised to assist the agency in tackling its challenges so that the staff of the can discharge their duties more efficiently.
Earlier, the Director General of the agency, Dr. Rufus Ebegba appreciated the minister and restated the his commitment to ensure the realization of the mission and vision of the agency.
Dr Ebegba said the amended act of the agency included ensuring biosecurity that is, making sure that Nigerians are protected from harmful biological agents, which the current COVID-19 pandemic is one.
“The issue of biosecurity is imperative to our nation as there is need to protect Nigerians and the environment from harmful Biological agents, we need to be ready hence the Agency has begun drafting of the National Biosecurity policy which will be presented to the ministry as soon as it is validated by stakeholders.
“We live in a precarious world today and the need to adequately regulate modern Biotechnology is a step to achieving sustainable growth and development,” he said.
The DG conducted the Minister round the Agency’s Genetic Modification (GM) detection and analysis laboratory where the she commended the modern state-of-the-art equipment.