By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) and the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to ensure proper regulation of genetically modified (GM) foods in Nigeria.
The Director General of NBMA, Dr. Rufus Ebegba, said that the MoU was necessary as the Agency had previously signed MoUs with other sister agencies like the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) and National Seed Council (NaSC) and is also set to sign more memoranda with other line agencies to ensure the safe practice of modern biotechnology and use of its products.
A statement issued on Wednesday by the agency’s Head of Press Unit, Ms. Gloria Ogbaki, emphasised the need for both agencies to work together for the good of Nigerians.
According to Ebegba, â€œNAFDAC is a major stakeholder in Biosafety as the NBMA Act 2015 specifically states that NAFDAC will also be involved in the certification of GM foods. In view of this, the Agency has been working tirelessly for several months to get this memorandum signed and it is a thing of joy to sign this today.â€
The Director General of NAFDAC, who was represented by Prof. Samson Adebayo, Director PRS, said that NAFDAC is very ready to collaborate with NBMA to ensure GM products in the country are safe for consumption by Nigerians.
Adebayo expressed gratitude for the initiative to draft and sign an MoU by both agencies and assured Nigerians that there would be adequate collaboration between NAFDAC and NBMA for proper regulation of GM foods in the country.