Nigeria Gets New National Biosecurity Policy

The Federal Government of Nigeria has approved a new National Biosecurity Policy for the country.

This was contained in a statement signed by the Director Press, Federal Ministry of Environment, Mr. Saghir el Mohammed.

TheFact Nigeria learned that the move was part the federal government’s commitment to the protection of the environment, human health and socio-economic development of Nigeria.

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Minister of State for the Environment, Chief Sharon Ikeazor who announced the development said that the approval was given on Thursday at the special session of the Federal Executive Council, (FEC) meeting.

Ikeazor said: “The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the National Biosecurity Policy and action plan 2022 – 2026 to ensure, among other things, biosecurity for the protection of the environment and human health from harmful biological agents and to protect our socio-economic development.

“The Policy document aims to foster an integrated and holistic Biosecurity strategy that will be implemented through One-health approach for the prevention, early detection, rapid response to biothreats and recovery from biosecurity incidents.

“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.”

TheFact Nigeria recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had 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 was a multisectoral discipline that cuts across several Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) convened a Biosecurity stakeholders’ consultative meeting in January 2020.

The meeting was aimed to discuss and develop a befitting and workable national document and action plan to address all issues and concerns on biosecurity for the country.

At the meeting, it was unanimously agreed that effective synergy among stakeholders and introduction of emerging methodologies would promote an efficient prevention, preparedness, response and mitigation system against any bio-threat.

It was therefore resolved that a National Biosecurity Policy and Action Plan be developed.

The Minister said that: “After going through several reviews, stakeholders validated the draft National Biosecurity Policy and Action Plan in September 2021, 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”.

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