Mr Obinna Chidoka, the Chairman, House Committee on Environment and Habitat, says the National Assembly will continue to give the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) full support to deliver on its mandate.
Chidoka gave the assurance in a statement by the Head of the NBMA’s Press Unit, Mrs Gloria Ogbaki, on Monday in Abuja.
The chairman said this during an oversight visit to the agency by the committee, warning antagonists of the agency to desist from unduly attacking its activities.
“Those working against the NBMA must keep in mind that the agency is acting in accordance with the law and is completely backed by the National Assembly.
“We have and will continue to give full support to NBMA as it is a very important agency which was established by law and acts accordingly.’’
He commended the agency for making its existence critical to the practice modern biotechnology, saying that the agency’s act of 2015 would soon be reviewed to enable it to accommodate new and emerging technologies.
“I use this opportunity to invite members of the public to a public hearing of the amendment of the NBMA Act 2015 to include new and emerging technologies such as gene drive and gene editing, holding on March 27, 2019 at the national assembly.’’
Hajiya Aishatu Dukku, a member of the committee commended the agency for working excellently in the face of adversity.
“Farmers are desperate to find solutions to insect attacks on their beans farms which will lead to the use of fewer pesticides.
“Recently, a new beans variety which is genetically modified was developed promising to reduce the insect attacks while reducing the use of pesticides.
“Your activities as a safety and regulatory agency, which has confirmed this variety safe for Nigerians are in the interest of the common man and I must commend that.’’
Dr Rufus Ebegba, the Director-General of the agency applauded the effort of the committee in ensuring a holistic bio-safety framework by proposing an amendment to the NBMA Act 2015 to include emerging technologies. NAN