Dr Rufus Ebegba, the Director-General, National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), has inaugurated a committee to draft the National Biosecurity Policy.
Ebegba made this known in a statement by the agency’s Head of Media and Communication, Gloria Ogbaki, in Abuja on Wednesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the NBMA Act was amended in 2019 and its scope expanded to include emerging aspects of modern biotechnology and bio-security.
Egbabe charged the committee to put in their utmost best to ensure that a draft of the national policy on bio-security was made available within a short time frame.
He said the draft policy when completed, would be forwarded to the Federal Executive Council through the Federal Ministry of Environment.
The D-G further charged the committee to look at areas where there were existing national bio-security policies.
Ebegba added that it should come up with a draft document, which would form a blueprint that would ensure that Nigeria’s involvement in biosecurity globally would be properly streamlined and harnessed.
“Nigeria will not be caught unawares as there are moves in place to ensure that Nigeria responds promptly to organisms that threaten our environment and human health.
“The ultimate aim is to have a healthy environment and healthy citizens, so that the productivity of the nation can be properly harnessed and actualised,’’ he said.
The D-G reiterated the commitment of the NBMA to developing a sound and holistic biosafety and biosecurity system in Nigeria and Africa.
Meanwhile, Dr Jeremy Ouedraogo, Director, African Union Development Agency (AUDA) African Biosafety Network of Expertise (ABNE), has commended the agency’s resolve in ensuring biosafety and biosecurity in Nigeria and Africa.
Quedraogo, in a virtual meeting alongside his team, said the African Union was working with the World Health Organisation to develop a policy, adding that ABNE would support Nigeria through the drafting process.
“NBMA has a duty to serve West Africa and you are doing that very well. We will make our team available to support the drafting team in any capacity,’’ Quedraogo said.
Chinyere Nzeduru, Chairman of the committee and Director of the Agency’s Biosecurity Department commended the D-G for trusting the members with the task.
Nzeduru assured the D-G that the committee would develop a draft policy within the laid down time frame.
The 20-member committee is expected to make the first draft policy available on July 17, 2020.
Edited By: Johnson Eyiangho/Felix Ajide (NAN)
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