By Ebere Agozie
Abuja – Some Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), in collaboration with the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), have reviewed and validated the National Biosafety Mainstreaming Strategy.
The exercise is aimed at further strengthening the biosafety regulatory regime and its inclusion in various sectors of the economy.
The document, which was developed by NBMA, was presented for review and validation by representatives of line MDAs at an awareness seminar, organised for key policy and decision makers on Friday in Abuja.
The strategy is formulated to ensure the continued effectiveness of the national biosafety regulatory system and engender a synergy between NBMA and sister agencies to stimulate national growth and economic development.
In his opening remarks, Dr Rufus Ebegba, the Director-General of NBMA, said that in efforts to ensure sustained collaboration among government institutions, the agency had decided to regularly engage relevant stakeholders for their input into its decision-making processes.
“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 said.
Representatives of the MDAs at the event expressed their willingness to with NBMA in the regulation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) to ensure that the application of modern biotechnology did not pose any harm to humans and the environment.
Mrs Kadiri Halima, the Desk Officer for Biosafety in NAFDAC, underscored the need for all parties to work together to ensure the safety of all Nigerians and the environment in biotechnology applications.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that NBMA already has functional Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NAFDAC, Nigerian Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC), Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON).
The MoU is in line with efforts to fulfil of the mandate of NBMA to ensure adequate level of protection in the field of safe transfer, handling and use of GMOs.
NAN also reports that some of the MDAs in the incorporated into the strategy include Federal Ministry of Environment, Nigeria Customs Service, NAQS, NASC, Consumer Protection Council (CPC) and NAFDAC.
Others are Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.