By Emman Ovuakporie
ABUJA—THE House of Representatives has endorsed a report that seeks to establish the National Bio-safety Management Agency, NBSA in Nigeria.
Their senate counterparts had last week adopted its own version of the report for the establishment of the agency, which would give it a legal backing.
The report was presented for consideration by Rep Uzoma Nkem-Abonta ,PDP, Abia. The lawmaker, who listed certain sections of the bill to be amended, said that would go a long way in making the agency effective and efficient in its activities.
If enacted into law, the bill will empower the agency to provide regulatory framework, institutional and administrative mechanism for safety measures in the application of modern biotechnology in Nigeria with a view to preventing any adverse effect on human health, animals, plants and environment.
Based on provisions of the bill, the agency shall be responsible for the effective management of all components of the nation’s bio-safe; establish and strengthen the institutional arrangement on Biosafety matters in Nigeria as well as safeguard human health and the environment from any potential, adverse effect of genetically modified organism including food safety.
Also, the agency is to ensure safety in the use of modern biotechnology and provide holistic approach to the regulation of modified organisms; provide measures for the case by case assessment of genetically modified organisms and management of risk in order to ensure safety in the use of genetically modified organisms to human health and the environment.
The agency shall also provide measures for effective public participation, awareness and access to information in the use and application of modern biotechnology and genetically-modified organisms and in addition to ensuring the use of the genetically-modified organisms does not have adverse impact on socio-economic and cultural interest either at the community or national level.