Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Environment, Chief Sharon Ikeazor has said that the federal government has bench marked a success rate of 70% in the National Biosecurity Policy and Action Plan implementation, by year 2026.
The Minister said this during the unveiling and public presentation of the approved National Biosecurity Policy and Action plan 2022-2026 on Tuesday in Abuja.
TheFact Nigeria learned that it was in a bid to secure the health of Nigerians and their immediate environments from biological threats, and sustain socio-economic development, that government conceived a framework, through a legal mandate, to ensure the prevention, detection and rapid response to bio-threats.
Recall that in 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the bill amending the National Biosafety Management Agency Act (2015) to include “putting measures in place to ensure biosecurity in Nigeria”, mandating the National Biosafety Management Agency to coordinate issues of Biosecurity in Nigeria.
She said that the Ministry through the National Biosafety Management Agency, will immediately liaise with the National Planning to develop an evaluation template and as well put in motion a facilitation mechanism for the implementation of the Policy and its action plans.
She reminded the audience that on 10th December, 2020, she presented to the stakeholders, the draft Policy and Action Plan which was produced taking into consideration of national and international agreements, existing national laws, conventions and guidelines in relation to biosecurity and the AU approach model for Biosafety and Biosecurity.
She had tasked all the stakeholders to keenly put in their best within the entire period of 2021 to ensure a robust review of the draft so as to come up with a national document which would be of international best practice for onward transmission to the Federal Executive Council for approval.
She said: “Indeed, I was astonished by the massive participation in this project which involved three national stakeholder’s review meetings, sectorial institutional reviews, international virtual review meetings and several institutional engagements involving Federal Parastatals, Development Partners, Representatives from State Ministries of Health, Agriculture and Environment, Academia, Civil Society Groups and the Media.
Ikeazor said that biosecurity is a strategic and integrated approach that encompasses the policy and regulatory frameworks (including instruments and activities) that analyse and manage risks in the sectors of food safety, animal life and health, plant life and health, including associated environmental risk.
She said: “It focuses not only on preventing the loss, theft, misuse, diversion, or intentional release of pathogens, toxins, and other related assets against humans, animals, plants, and the environment, but also includes putting measures in place to mitigate naturally occurring and emerging infectious diseases.