By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The Environment Correspondents Association of Nigeria (ECAN) has said it wants to partner with National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) in order to create awareness on the mandate of the Agency.
Chairman of the Association, Mr. Chuks Oyema, said this when the group visited the NBMA in Abuja today (9th July 2019). “I appreciate the Agency for good work put in place since its establishment in 2015 and, we as an association are here to expressly signal our readiness to collaborate with you in order to carry the Nigerian people along in what you do and for the development of the economy”.
Mr Chuks asked for the cooperation of the NBMA in order to ensure proper reportage of biosafety issues and regulation in the country.
Reacting, Director General/CEO NBMA, Dr Rufus Ebegba, commended the delegation for their timely visit. He said, “I know how relevant the media is and we need to work together to always acquaint the general public on policies of government.”
He re-emphasized the need for reporters to always verify the authenticity of any piece of information before feeding the public, encouraging the reporters to shun sensational journalism as this will discredit their organizations.
The DG/CEO said the NBMA is well prepared to regulate the biotechnology sector as mechanisms have been put in place to ensure that the products of modern biotechnology are safe for humans and the environment.
Dr Ebegba said due to the sensitive nature of the sector, there is an ever-crucial need for journalists to educate and enlighten rightly. He assured members of ENCAN that accurate information will be made available to anyone in need.
He expressed the readiness of the NBMA to collaborate with the association on proper reportage of Biosafety issues.
The team visited the NBMA’s Genetically Modified Organism Detection and Analysis Laboratory and were pleasantly surprised at the high tech equipment they saw, the chairman remarked “It is evident that the Agency has what it takes to regulate this sector and are strongly on ground to report this to the Nigerian people”.