NBMA describes Biosafety Act as safety valve

The Director General of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Dr Rufus Ebegba, has described the 2015 Act that established the agency as a safety valve for the adoption of modern biotechnology in Nigeria.

Ebegba, also noted that the calls by a group and some individuals for the repeal of the National Biosafety Management Agency Act, 2015, is frivolous and most unpatriotic.

“The request is a call for the opening of the floodgate, thus subjecting Nigeria to unrestricted importation and production of unregulated modern biotechnology products. It is also intended to render the more than 20 indigenous research institutes, universities, agencies and private concerns that have competence in this sector stagnated and redundant, in a global sphere that is fast moving towards safe modern biotechnological advancement,” Ebegba said.

In a statement made available by Ovuakporie Efe, Ag. Head, Press and Protocol Unit of the agency, Ebegba noted that the Nigerian Biosafety Act has been adjudged by international watchers as one of the best in Africa after having painstakingly passed through stringent processes that lasted for more than a decade.

“It is pertinent to advise that criticism be constructive with a view to improving Nigeria rather than carrying out a malicious propaganda to run down genuine government actions,” he said.

He, however, urged all well meaning Nigerians who genuinely feel that a gap exists in the Act to be patriotic enough to collaborate with the agency in seeking the amendment of the knotty section, instead of carpeting the National Assembly and calling for a legal lacuna that would give room to anarchy in the modern biotechnology sector.