By Tola Akinmutimi
The federal ministry of agriculture and rural development and the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in order to enhance food safety in the country which is one of the major agenda of the present administration.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Umar harped on the need for the interagency collaboration as the Federal Government was determined to diversifying the economy with the agriculture sector being one of the key sectors being focused on to ensuring food security for Nigerians
This is even as he spoke on the urgent need for improvement of the output of agricultural commodities as this can be achieved with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
Raising some concerns on the potential risks and threats associated with the use of GMOs, the Permanent Secretary stressed the need for relevant stakeholders to minimize the threat and ensure that the gene of insert is considered safe for consumption.
Umar explained that that the ministry being the competent authority for the certification of animals for import and export purposes would make it a prerequisite to issue import permit for only GMOs of animal origin whose gene of insert has been certified safe by the National Biosafety Management Agency.
Earlier in his remarks, the director general of the NBMA canvassed the need for an interagency collaboration agency in order to have one body that will help in actualizing the government agenda on food sufficiency and safety.
He reassured Nigerians that the agency was committed to regulating all products of modern biotechnology to ensure that they are environmental-friendly and safe for human and animal consumption.