Published 27 December 2021
In an effort to protect the environment, human life, and socio-economic growth, the Federal Government has approved a National Biosecurity Policy for Nigeria.
Chief Sharon Ikeazor, Minister of State for Environmental Affairs, announced the approval through a statement from her ministry in Abuja.
She was quoted as saying, The Federal Executive Council 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.
This policy document is designed to promote an integrated and holistic approach to biosecurity. It will be implemented using a one-health strategy for prevention, early detection and rapid response to bio-threats.
Ikeazor stated, “This policy is to ensure synergy harmonisation among biosecurity stakeholder for effective and efficient operation of the national biosecurity system.”
It is to ensure that all aspects, national and international, of biosecurity conventions, guidelines, and other instruments are properly considered.
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), 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.
In January 2020, the National Biosafety Management Agency convened an informal meeting with stakeholders to discuss biosecurity.
This was to discuss all aspects of biosecurity and to develop a plan and document that could be used to address them.
The Federal Ministry of Environment stated at the meeting that it was unanimously agreed that effective coordination among stakeholders and the introduction of emerging methods would promote an efficient prevention and preparedness system to respond to any bio-threat.
In its statement, the ministry stated that it was resolved to develop a National Biosecurity Policy and Action Plan.
Ikeazor stated that the draft National Biosecurity Policy and Action Plan was approved by stakeholders after it had been subject to multiple reviews.
She said, “We are very pleased with the approval in the environment section, which gives the country an adequate, comprehensive, and usable document to address biosecurity issues and ensure bio-threats can be properly contained and even eliminated.”
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