Minister of Environment Suleiman Hassan Zarma has said the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) has delivered on its targets in line with its mandate of ensuring that modern biotechnology practices and its products are well used and deployed safely in Nigeria.
The Minister said this at the opening meeting of experts of Biosafety for the validation of the Preliminary draft regulations on Biosafety in West Africa, held Tuesday at the ECOWAS Office, Abuja.
He said “I think we as a sub-region have every right to feel proud of these achievements which have moved us to the realization of proving to the world that Africa has all it takes to ensure safety in the deployment of modern biotechnology and its derivatives. I will therefore state that Nigeria’s commitment to not just the regional biosafety system but that of Africa knows no bounds. Nigeria also commends the great biosafety strides being made in other African countries including ECOWAS member states”.
“Nigeria greatly recognizes the need for a regional biosafety system and appreciates this meeting which is aimed at ensuring that cross border trade on living modified organisms and their products thereof within the sub-region are harmonized, improved and most importantly safe to human health and the environment and called on all participants to give this expert review assignment all the seriousness it deserves.
Director General and Chief Executive Officer of the NBMA Dr Rufus Ebegba who chaired the technical session, said West Africa is setting the pace on matters of Biosafety as this regulation document is a new initiative that other African countries will in time copy from.
He said “Africa has the capacity but needs to strengthen this capacity to meet emerging trends in this sector”.