national biosafety management agency
According to the NBMA, research institutes should prioritize the health of citizens.

NBMA: Citizens’ Health Should Not Be Compromised By GMOs

Agnes Asagbra, the Director General of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), is urging research institutes to prioritize the health of citizens and the Environment while they produce Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

She also expressed the agency’s determination to maintain standards which will be met by research institutes using biotechnology to produce GMOs in Nigeria.

Asagbra said this during a visit from the National Regulatory Authority Burkina Faso, to Understudy the Nigerian Biosafety System in Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja.

Speaking on the use of GMOs, and the agency’s stance as regulators, Agnes said, “We are able to have rules and regulations on importation, on export and also to regulate those Research institutes and other companies that are into GMO production.

Read Also: Only Safe GMO Products are allowed in Nigeria, says DG

“Yes, we are regulators and in no way will we compromise the health of our citizens and our environment. We will make sure we do not compromise on standards that are supposed to be met by those who are importing or those who are using modern biotechnology in the production of GMOs” she said.

In his words, the Principal Programme Officer for Biosafety in Agriculture and Health, Burkina Faso, Moussa Savadogo said, “Modern biotechnology today is a tool that we really need to move forward and to address the food insecurity in Africa, so Burkina Faso is watching and we are really proud of what Nigeria is doing in terms of developing the biosafety System to ensure that modern biotechnology can be utilized in Nigeria in a safer manner to address the food challenge and the food security challenges.

Speaking on the major reasons for his visit, Moussa said, “We need to have a stunned biosafety System, with all the components from communication, to policy, to MOUs with other agencies, so Nigeria is doing very well on all those sectors, that is why we have come to learn from them, We did not have a legal department before, but after listening to the presentation, we hope to set up one”.

Gloria Ogbaki, the Head of Communication NBMA, said that the agency is willing to collaborate with Burkina Faso regarding the issues of Genedrive on GM mosquitoes as well as other issues on biosafety.