The National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) has begun training the personnel of its newly created Biosecurity department, on the workings of the department in other to equip them to discharge their duties properly.
Director General/Chief Executive Officer of the Agency Dr Rufus Ebegba said the training is aimed at ensuring a National Biosecurity response strategy and to put in place mechanisms to ensure that organisms that can cause harm to humans and the environment are properly contained and eliminated.
“The training is necessary as it will enable personnel to be proactive in the entire responsibility of regulating Genetically Modified Organisms as the issue of Biosecurity is very key from the point of human safety and to the environment”.
“Biological agents can be used to cause trade war or harm as some many want to use these Biological agents to discredit the Agricultural products of a country from being marketable in the international community, hence it is now a part of the Agency’s mandate to ensure that every Biological agent is monitored and contained in a safe manner, and to drive issues of Biosecurity at the National level”.
Dr Ebegba said part of the major steps of the NBMA to ensure that the issues of Biosecurity is properly addressed includes; a consultative forum between the NBMA and line Ministries, Agencies and departments which will look into having a National Biosecurity policy, National Biosecurity emergency response strategy and to identify the likely Biological agents that can cause harm among other issues.
He said the training will be on going and continuous capacity strengthening both locally and internationally will be in place so that the staff of the Agency can be regularly kept abreast with international best practices and reinstated the position of the Federal Government to ensure that the best regulatory mechanism is in place as it deploys resources for this course.
Vice president Nigerian Biosafety Association Dr. Stella Udo in a paper presentation enlightened personnel on biosecurity concepts as she charged them to be alert always as the intentions of modern Biotechnology could be distorted for self-fish reasons that could jeopardize the human health and the biodiversity.
She stated that ‘’biosecurity is a set of preventive measures designed to reduce risks of intentional release or misuse of biological materials in other to cause harm to others, the major job on the shoulder of the personnel at this time when modern biotechnology has come to stay is to protect human health and National biodiversity’’.
Dr. udo noted that some challenges involved in the securing of biological materials in the laboratories includes the need to protect valuable biological materials in order to eliminate and reduce its usage to cause harm.
She also stated that a proper biosecurity risk assessment is necessary before implementing an efficient and effective biosecurity program noting that physical security which is one of the components of a successful laboratory biosecurity program should be inclusive of the vicinity of the laboratory.
“safety and security works hand in hand and this includes safety of the people and security of the organism. Nigeria as a country is ready to take her baby steps on issues of Biosecurity, we cannot afford to be left behind as it can prove very disastrous to us as a nation in the nearest future” she said.
Reach Us On:
Phone & WhatsApp: +2348188105921, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: @update_agro