By Igbawase Ukumba
The Director-General of National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Dr. Rufus Edegba, yesterday said that Nigeria’s biosafety system is safe to human health and the environment.
Edegba gave the assurance at the agency’s sensitisation workshop on Genetically Modified Safety and Regulation in Nigeria, which was held in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital.
He maintained that so far none of the GMOs approved in Nigeria has any risks associated with the product.
Edegba said: “I want to use this medium to assure Nigerians that the federal government through the agency is doing everything possible to ensure that we are all safe.
“Nigerians should learn to trust the federal government and allow the agency do what will be in its best interest. Nigerians need not be afraid as their health and wellbeing are paramount in the mind of the agency as they relate to biosafety.”
He added that the NBMA has a responsibility towards the safety of Nigerians, the environment, the realisation of government objectives in the diversification of the Nigerian economy towards the actualisation of green economy and the economic prosperity of Nigerians.
“Since the inception of the NBMA in 2015, its obvious impact of the Nigerian biosafety authority has been felt all over the globe from the decision to approve Bt Cotton for environmental release in 2016 to the decision to approve PBR Cowpea for environmental release in 2019.
“And more recent, the decision to grant approval for the commercial release of Tela Maize in 2021. The NBMA has made decisions based on scientific facts for the benefit of the Nigerian people and just like our activities that have not gone unnoticed in Africa, it has not gone unnoticed worldwide,” the NBMA director general explained.
Edegba therefore concluded that the aforementioned facts have been the reason why the Nigerian Biosafety is well sorted after in Africa and the world as the country’s regulations and guidelines have become models that other countries used in developing their guidelines and regulations.