The director-general of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha, has advertised science and technology (especially in the area of agricultural biotechnology) as the keys to solving the problems created by primitive agricultural practices all over the world.
Speaking during the fifth edition of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) media and gala nite 2021 in Abuja, Mustapha said the Federal Government has fully recognized agricultural biotechnology as one of the pillars for meaningful contributions to the nation’s quest for a food-secure Nigeria.
Mustapha said the government’s recognition of the important role of biotechnology in enhancing a food-secure Nigeria led to the establishment of necessary research institutions and regulatory agencies to ensure that the country takes maximum advantage of the tools of science and technology for national development.
“The establishment of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) over two decades ago to prepare the ground for the deployment of modern biotechnology in the agricultural sector is a testimony of governments deliberate efforts to use science and technology to boost food production and improve livelihood in the country,” he said.
He underscored the need for government to encourage scientists to continue to work for the good of the country and her people.
“We have over 16 research institutes all over the country with the mandate to improve various crops. These institutes must be encouraged to carry out their mandates to ensure that the country attains self-sufficiency,” he added.
Similarly, the country coordinator, OFAB Nigeria, Dr Rose Gidado, said scientists and researchers are making steady progress in the deployment of agricultural biotechnology in the country, breaking new grounds and competing with their counterparts from developed countries in the face of limited funding and most vital facilities.
She, however, lamented that some armed-chair critics who see nothing good in the efforts of the scientists are undermining their developmental strides.
The OFAB boss urged reporters and their editors to continue to sensitize and educate Nigerians on the potentials of biotechnology adoption. She hailed the media as strategic allies of the agency and promised that the organization will do its best to ensure they have a conducive environment to work.