Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Stakeholders Oppose Proposed Amendment of NBMA Act

Stakeholders in the biotechnology and biosafety sector in Nigeria have described the call for amendment of the existing National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) Act 2015 as anti-people and anti-development, asking the Nigerian Senate to reject any call for its amendment.

This stance was made known in Abuja at a one-day public hearing on a “Bill for An Act to Amend the National Biosafety Management Agency Act, 2015,” organized by the National Assembly, Senate Committee on Environment.

While making presentations, various stakeholders were of the opinion that amending the bill now would amount to jeopardizing the achievements made since the coming of the law in 2015 and would set the country back in the progress it has made in attaining food security.

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The Director General, NBMA, Dr. Rufus Ebegba, remarked that the move will not only demoralize scientists in contributing to the socio-economic development of the country but also make the country more susceptible and dependent on products of biotechnology from elsewhere.

In his submission, Professor Abdulahi Mustapha, Director-General of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), stated that the amendments will only serve as roadblocks, limiting the practice of science in Nigeria.

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The Executive Director, Institute of Agricultural Research, Zaria, Kaduna state, North West Nigeria, Prof. Mohammed Ishiyaku, rejected the move in his contribution, saying it seeks to tie the hands of experts and prevent Nigerians from benefiting from the economic opportunities of modern biotechnology.

Also, the Project Manager of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) and Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB), Mr. Vitumbiko Chinoko, warned that Nigeria, who has already established herself as the leading biosafety driver in Africa, would lose her position if the NBMA Act is amended to limit the scope of researchers in the country.

Also, the Project Manager of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) and Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB), Mr. Vitumbiko Chinoko, warned that Nigeria would lose her position as the leading biosafety driver in Africa if the NBMA Act is amended.

 

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