The National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) said its end-of-year press briefing of the media and the public on the current state of biosafety and biosecurity in the Nigeria is aimed at promoting the ease of doing business within related sectors.
Speaking during an end of year press briefing in Abuja, the NBMA director-general, Dr. Rufus Ebegba, said this was the aim of the recently amended NBMA Act 2019.
“The objective of these guidelines for the risk assessment of stacked gene events is to provide guidelines and information on the risk assessment and risk management requirement and procedures for Genetically Modified (GM) stacking and stacked events in plants, as well as biosafety guidelines for food and feed safety.
“As for the development of National Biosecurity Policy and Action plans 2022-2026. The policy document aims to find the integration and harmonisation of biosecurity that will be implemented through one health approach for the prevention, early detection, rapid response to biothreats and recovery from a biosecurity incident.
“The policy has been established to ensure synergy among stakeholders involved in biosecurity sector for effective and efficient operation of the national biosecurity system. This is to guarantee best practices in ensuring biosecurity for socio-economic development.
“The policy ensures that all aspects of national and international agreement, conventions, guidelines and other instrument on biosecurity band duly taken into consideration.
“On October 18, 2021, the Federal Government through NBMA granted environmental approval for evaluation and open cultivation of a new maize variety.
“TELA maize is coming at a time when farmers are spending so much to reduce insect and pest attacks, as well as battling with the issue of drought.
“In 2021, the NBMA continued to exercise its mandate by constant inspection of CFT, and containment facility to ensure compliance with biosafety regulations and guidelines and these facilities are the ones in NABDA, IITA and others
“In fulfilling its statutory mandate, the NBMA set up the National Biosafety Committee and the National Biosafety Technical Sub-Committee to review together with the agency.
“Also, zonal offices were established in Asaba (south), Lagos (southwest) and Lafia (north-central).
“We entered into partnerships with relevant MDAs to enhance collaboration for effective regulation of the GMOs and their products,” he said.
Stating some of the agency’s challenges as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, poor findings, inadequate office space, litigation and others, the NBMA boss pointed out that the media has been instrumental to the success of the NBMA and appealed for sustained cooperation that means well for the nation’s national growth and development.