By Godson Elekwachi
In a practical demonstration of its commitment to the protection of biodiversity, human health and socio-economic development, the Federal Government has approved a new National Biosecurity Policy for the country.
The Minister of State for the Environment, Chief Sharon Ikeazor who stated this in Abuja, said the approval of the National Biosecurity Policy and action plan 2022 – 2026 was to ensure, among other things, biosecurity for the protection of the environment and human health from harmful biological agents and to protect the socio-economic development.
“This policy is to ensure synergy and harmonization among Biosecurity stakeholders for effective and efficient operations of the national biosecurity systems. It is to ensure that all aspects of National and International Agreement, Conventions, Guidelines and other instruments on biosecurity are duly taken into consideration, ” She said.
President Muhammadu Buhari has in July 2019, assented to an amendment of the National Biosafety Management Agency Act, 2015 mandating the NBMA to put measures in place to ensure biosecurity in Nigeria.
The National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), in setting the stage for the implementation of the Presidential directive, and in recognition of the fact that biosecurity is a multisectoral discipline that cuts across several Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) convened Biosecurity stakeholders’ consultative meeting to discuss and develop a befitting and workable national document and action plan to address all issues and concerns on biosecurity for the country.
The Minister explained that “after going through several reviews, stakeholders validated the draft National Biosecurity Policy and Action Plan last September before it was presented to the Federal Executive Council for approval.
“We are very pleased with this approval in the environment sector, which gives the country a proper, comprehensive and workable document to tackle Biosecurity issues and ensure that bio-threats are properly contained and even eliminated”. She added.