Nigeria launches National Biosafety Policy and Action plan

Nigeria launches National Biosafety Policy and Action plan

The Nigerian government has launched the National Biosafety Policy and Action plan 2022-2026.

These policy initiatives and strategic actions are articulated to reinvigorate Nigeria’s commitment to the protection of national sovereignty, human and biodiversity security and the wellbeing of her citizenry.

Nigeria’s Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, at the unveiling and public presentation of the National Biosafety Policy and Action plan in Abuja, the Nation’s capital, said the policy is to explore the improvement in the areas of infrastructure, technologies advocacy as frontiers to ensure prevention and preparedness to bio-threats.

“Biosecurity is more important today than ever before due to the increasing threats of climate change which is altering the range, habitats and spreads of pests and diseases, globalization and industrialization which are increasing the volume and range of products traded internationally, and the subsequent risks of invasive vectors, pests and diseases entering and establishing in Nigeria” the Minister stated.

Nigeria’s Minister of State for Environment, Sharon IkeazorIkeazor said adopting the One Health Approach is an integrated way to foster cooperation between environmental conservation, human health, animal health, and plant health sectors to prevent future outbreak of zoonotic diseases and safeguard human health and wellbeing.

“This national document has considered implementable strategic areas of focus which includes but not limited to human health, animal health, plant health, food safety, environmental protection, biotechnology and biosafety, biosecurity information and database, bioterrorism and biowarfare, bio-threat risk assessment, boarder control and management, transport security, facility establishment and security, research and development and waste management.

The Director General National Biosafety Management Agency in Nigeria, NBMA, Dr Rufus Ebegba, said the Policy and Action plan would serve as a blue print for Nigeria in the area of Biosafety.

He noted that the policy will also come up with further emphasis for the country to achieve its aim of protecting its environment, human health and also ensuring that the Nigerian economy is strengthened and protected.

“In 2020 a stakeholders meeting was held to articulate how to implement the aspect of the NBMA amendment act and it was agreed that there was need for the agency to articulate National Biosafety Policy for effective blue print that would drive the country’s National Biosafety processes” Dr Ebegba explained.

Strengthening Biosecurity capabilities
The Acting High Commissioner of Canada in Nigeria, Mr Kevin Tokar, said Canada is very proud of its longstanding partnership with Nigeria to strengthen national and regional Biosecurity capabilities.

“While cooperation between Canada and Nigeria on Biosecurity goes back a decade, the critical importance of our collaboration has been underscored by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Canada has contributed more than eight million dollars to strengthen Nigeria’s capacity to prevent, detect and respond to biological threats.

” Mr Tokar explained.

Mr Tokar reiterated that Canada’s continued commitment to strengthening Biosecurity and health security capacities in Africa is reflected in the country’s ongoing leadership of the Signature Initiative to Mitigate Biological Threats in Africa, which is being implemented by the G7-led Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

“We are confident that key policies and initiatives, such as Nigeria’s new National Biosecurity Policy and Action Plan, will support the evolution and impact of the Signature Initiative and encourage Nigeria partners to play an active part in discussions around its four pillars: biosafety and Biosecurity, national governance structures, surveillance and epidemic intelligence and non-proliferation.

The World Health Oragnisation, WHO Country representative Dr.

Rex Mpazanje, said the WHO, encouraged Nigeria to look towards a more integrated approach that would ensure faster and more effective response to Biosafety.

In 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the bill amending the National Biosafety Management Agency, NBMA Act 2015 to include putting measures in place to ensure Biosecurity in Nigeria by mandating the National Biosafety Management Agency to coordinate issues of Biosecurity in Nigeria.

Emmanuel Ukoh
Nigeria launches National Biosafety Policy and Action plan

Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn

Read Related News On TDPel Media

Advertisement: Download Vital Signs App (VS App)