NBMA: GM Trade Management Central To Nation’s Biosafety Management


Dr Agnes Asagbra the Director- General of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), says the Genetically Modified cross-border trade management is central to the nation’s biosafety management approach.

Asagbra, who said this at a Consultative Workshop with Border Agencies in Abuja, expressed the agency’s unwavering commitment to regulatory compliance.

“We can enhance our collective capacity and drive positive change in GM cross-border trade management. Central to Nigeria’s biosafety management approach is our unwavering commitment to regulatory compliance.

“Our collaborative efforts with international partners, academic institutions, industry stakeholders, and civil society organisations have yielded tangible results in promoting the safe handling and transfer of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) across borders.

“Through rigorous monitoring, inspection, and certification processes, we strive to safeguard human health, biodiversity, and the environment while facilitating responsible GM cross-border trade.

“In spite of our achievements, we recognise that challenges persist in the realm of GM cross-border trade. From logistical complexities to varying interpretations of biosafety regulations, navigating the landscape of international trade presents multifaceted challenges,” she said.

According to her, Nigeria, as a nation, stands at the forefront of technological advancement, and the field of biosafety is no exception.

“However, it is through acknowledging and addressing these challenges head-on that we pave the way for meaningful progress and innovation in biosafety management.

“In navigating the complexities of GM cross-border trade, Nigeria has implemented robust regulatory frameworks and enforcement mechanisms.

“Nigeria has made remarkable strides in biosafety management, particularly in the arena of GM cross-border trade.

“We have successfully fostered an environment conducive to innovation while upholding stringent biosafety standards,” she said.

Asagbra noted that Nigeria’s experience underscores the importance of collaboration and information-sharing among border agencies.

Effective coordination and communication are essential in ensuring the smooth and efficient movement of GMOs across borders, while simultaneously upholding stringent biosafety standards.

“In our pursuit of effective biosafety management, inclusive engagement is paramount. We recognise the importance of diverse perspectives and expertise in shaping comprehensive solutions to biosafety challenges.

“We have established robust frameworks and enforcement mechanisms to ensure adherence to national and international biosafety regulations and standards,” she explained.

John Koman a representative from Programme for Biosafety Systems (PBS), noted that NBMA had made giant strides in the area of food security.

He commended NBMA for the regulation of trade GMOs and the sharing of expertise in modern technology.

Mr Sam Timpo, Head African Bio Safety Network of Expertise African Union Development Agency, New Partnership for African Development (AUDA-NEPAD), urged stakeholders to embrace modern agricultural practice to address food insecurity.

Timpo commended the cartagena protocol on biosafety, NBMA for their efforts in regulating GMO products and assured continued support for the activities of the agency.






NAN/Oyenike Oyeniyi

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