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29-4-22                                              Biosafety Rivers

Nigeria must be ready to break new grounds in the area of modern biotechnology and green economy.

The Director General, National Biosafety Management Agency, Dr Rufus Ebegba who stated this at a sensitization workshop on Biosafety held in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital says Nigeria has what it takes to be pacesetters in biotechnology and has proven that in the continent.

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Dr. Ebegba said the workshop was part of ongoing series meant to sensitize Nigerians in the south south region on Biosafety with regards to genetically modified organisms and their safety.

The National Biosafety Management Agency DG reassured members of the public that none of the GMOs approved in Nigeria has any risks associated with it.

He said the Agency had signed Memorandum of Understanding with some sister agencies including standard organization, national agricultural quarantine service, Nigerian custom service and lately, the federal competition and Consumer Protection commission in a bid to ensure that Nigerian consumers get the best of GMOs.

“The National Biosafety Management Agency is very thorough before any approval is granted for the use and deployment of genetically modified organisms. The national biosafety committee and international technical biosafety sub-committee are constituted to assist the agency to review all applications”

One of the speakers at the workshop, Dr. Bello Scholastica spoke on Biosafety, imperative for socioeconomic development while another speaker who the country coordinator of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa, Dr Rose Gidado represented by Dr Abraham Isah  highlighted the importance of biotechnology .

“With informed choice and actions, Are you going to say anything about GMO, it should be based on proven information and proven experiments”

“Nigeria is already leading Africa in food by commercializing two biotech products like cowpea, another name for beans and added BT cotton and that is good news for us. I saw some people burning flames of fire, pollution everywhere. You need biotech to clean up the land”

The Chairman, Nigeria Medical Association NMA Rivers State, Prof. Chizindu Alikor who was represented by the Vice Chairman in a goodwill message noted that noted that developed countries have embraced genetically modified foods because it was healthy.

“Be assured that the agency is doing its best. The Nigeria Medical Association will be partners, we want to partner with you.”

The Head, Communications of NDMA, Gloria Ogbaki urged the media to pass the right information to check the controversies on GMOs.

Stakeholders represented at the workshop include sister agencies, the Rivers State Ministry of Environment, Ministry of women Affairs, and Rivers State University.

In Port Harcourt, Blessing Ituma, Radio Nigeria.

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