Nigeria Inaugurates C’tee To Improve Biosecurity


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In line with Nigeria’s effort to achieve epidemic preparedness through the one health approach, the country has set in motion the National Biosecurity Advisory Council and Technical Working Group.

The inauguration ceremony organised by the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) in collaboration with the Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN) was held on Tuesday, January 23, 2024, in Abuja.

Addressing the gathering, Special Adviser to the President on Health, Dr. Salma Anas stated, “we have seen the importance of ensuring the safety of human health, animals, environment, and our plants in the application of modern biotechnology in the country”. She therefore promised her unwavering support and wished the committee the best in the task ahead.

On her part, the Director General of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Dr. Agnes Asagbara said she was honoured to be the one to implement the Biosecurity Policy and Action Plan. She further promised stakeholders and development partners present that she would, “make sure that this will come to the realisation and that Nigeria would be a biosecure nation”.

Also speaking, the Coordinator of the Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN), Dr. Aminu Magashi informed that “this meeting is aimed at establishing and inaugurating two high-level committees that will support the implementation of the biosecurity policy and action plan over the next five years.

“In December 2021 one of the most powerful conference was organised by the presidential steering committee on COVID-19, which we call the national COVID-19 summit as a preparation to usher a post-COVID-19 agenda for Nigeria.

“Some commitment was reached, one of which was to support and strengthen the biosafety management agency to lead the national biosecurity agenda.

“I call on development partners who were present in the meeting done at NIA to remember these two promises as they commit to support the NBMA to implement the policy and action plan for the biosecurity agenda and to support the agency to strengthen the advisory council and also to strengthen the technical working group.

“The post-COVID-19 agenda in Africa has to be supported so that we can address emerging epidemics and pandemics including Nigeria”, he said.

On his part, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Nigeria Country Representative, Dr. Walter Mulombo congratulated the committee on undertaking the Joint External Evaluation (JEE) which had brought the country recognitions from international organisations.

According to him, “the findings of JEE would help us build our capacity to respond to public health emergencies”. Mulombo also said the WHO would continue working with the NBMA and other agencies to improve the issue of global health security and biosafety.


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