The Director-General of National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Dr Rufus Ebegba, has described the agency’s workshop with the clerks of the National Assembly as necessary , saying that it will strengthen its act for effective implementation.
Ebegba said this during a workshop organised by the NBMA to interact with some clerk members of the assembly on Monday in Abuja.
He said that the interaction was for the clerks to understand the workings of the agency while the agency would understand the processes of bill presentation and approvals.
“We want our management team to understand the processes involved before an act is approved and for the clerks to have a full knowledge of Biosafety of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO).
“The interaction is necessary so that when next we come to them with our bills, they will understand where we are coming from,’’ he said.
Established by the National Biosafety Management Agency Act 2015 to provide regulatory framework to adequately safe guard human health, the agency regulates the environment from potential adverse effects of modern Biotechnology and Genetically Modified Organisms, while harnessing the potential of modern biotechnology and its derivatives for the benefit of Nigerians.
Mr Eric Makwe, the Clerk, House Committee on Environment and Habitat said that there was the need to exercise patience after submission of a bill.
Makwe, while delivering the paper “Role of Legislator/Clerks in Law making’’ said that proper care must be taken to make sure the laws approved were for the good of the public.
“Sometimes people think legislators delay when they are not seen on televisions not knowing that they are working behind doors through the different committees.’’
Dr Fortune Ihua-Maduenji, the Clerk on Agriculture said the clerk “is the neck of the National Assembly’’.
“We are the neck and without the neck, the head won’t stand, so we work with the legislators to complement their efforts for an effective legislation.
“So we are here today to build up the biosafety management act from where we stopped so that Nigeria will have a more vibrant agency.’’
Chinyere Nzeduru, the Director, Environmental Biosafety said the Biosafety Act “is to domesticate the Cartagena Protocol and address the National Biosafety requirements.’’
The UN international agreement known as Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety is an environment protocol and it requires members to domesticate the agreement through a law.
The NBMA regulates modern biotechnology activities and the release into the environment, handling and use of GMO to prevent adverse impact on the environment and human health.’’