Samuel Bello, Abuja
The National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), in collaboration with a cross section of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) has reviewed and validated a strategy that would mainstream biosafety into the national system.
The National Biosafety Mainstreaming Strategy document, developed by the NBMA was presented, reviewed and validated by representatives of line Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) at an awareness seminar for key policy and decision makers in Abuja.
The strategy is to among other things ensure continued effectiveness of the national biosafety system and synergy with sister MDAs for national growth and economic development.
In his remarks, NBMA Director General, Rufus Ebegba, said the strategy document identifies legislations and policies of line MDAs and analyses the entry points for biosafety to ensure smooth synergy with each institution.
He stated that: “in line with the need for collaboration and partnership among government institutions underscored by the present administration, the Agency has taken it upon itself to regularly engage relevant stakeholders for their input in its decision making process.
“The essence is to see how all these government agencies that have relevance in the area of biotechnology and other areas to make sure that they work together to ensure that GMO products are safe for human consumption and environment.
Representatives of the MDAs present, conveyed their willingness to continue to work with NBMA in the regulation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to ensure that the practice of modern biotechnology does not pose any harm to human and the environment.
Some MDAs included in the strategy are: Federal Ministry of Environment (FMENV), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC), Consumer Protection Council (CPC), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) and Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI).