Nigeria News
Senate begins public hearing on National Biosafety Bill

The need to have a biosafety law in Nigeria continued yesterday at the national assembly as public hearing on a bill for an act to establish the National Biosafety Bill was held.

Declaring the hearing open, the Senate President, David Mark, said the issue of biotechnology is an international one and Nigeria is a signatory to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.

“But we must domesticate the issues involved so as to benefit from modern technology. “

The Senate President represented by Senator Atiku Bagudu, said global population is growing geometrically and to feed the world there is need for technology, saying “this bill is going to provide guidance in the areas of agriculture, stable environment and wealth creation.“

The Chairman Senate Committee on Agriculture, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, explained that the bill was passed by the 6th National Assembly but was not assented to by the President.

He said: “The National Biosafety Bill is to provide a regulatory regime and guidance for the sustainable development of the science of modern biotechnology.

“Its application and safe use of its products without prejudice and risk to public health, environment, national sovereignty, human dignity and fundamental human rights.”

While promising to see to the bill being passed by the present assembly, he said they are neutral as the will of the people will be taken into consideration

He said Nigeria signed the protocol on Biodiversity to enjoy the benefits associated with modern technology.

Stakeholders from the Ministries of Agriculture; Science and Technology; universities, among others were present at the public hearing.

Farmer unions present were seen carrying placards urging the Senate to pass the bill.

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