Our Nigeria News Magazine
The news is by your side.

Safeguarding Nigeria’s Future: The NBMA’s Leadership in Biotechnology Regulation and the Cartagena Protocol

Safeguarding Nigeria’s Future: The NBMA’s Leadership in Biotechnology Regulation and the Cartagena Protocol

By Lawrence Audu

In the global landscape of biotechnology regulation, the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety stands as a landmark agreement aimed at ensuring the safe handling, transport, and use of living modified organisms (LMOs) resulting from modern biotechnology. Since its adoption in 2000, the Protocol has provided a framework for countries to implement robust biosafety measures, safeguarding biodiversity and human health.

In Nigeria, the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) has emerged as a key player in upholding the principles of the Cartagena Protocol under the visionary leadership of Dr. Agnes Yemisi Asagbra.

Dr. Agnes Yemisi Asagbra, as the Director-General/CEO of the NBMA, has exemplified exceptional leadership qualities in steering the agency towards achieving its mandate. Her visionary approach, strategic foresight, and commitment to excellence have been instrumental in positioning the NBMA as a leading regulatory body in Africa. Under her guidance, the agency has demonstrated a keen understanding of the complexities of modern biotechnology and has implemented proactive measures to ensure the safe and responsible use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Nigeria.

During the inaugural meeting of the National advisory Council on Biosecurity (NACB) and the National Technical Working Group on Biosecurity (NTWGB) for the implementation of the biosecurity and biosafety action plan in Abuja, Dr Asagbra assured Nigerians of the commitment of the Agency to ensure that the nation becomes bio-secured.

Understanding the importance of collaboration with relevant stakeholders, At a recent capacity building workshop on risk management, Dr Asagbra noted that: “The importance of robust risk assessment processes cannot be overstated, particularly in the context of biosafety, where the implications of our actions resonate deeply with public health, environmental sustainability, and socioeconomic well-being. By fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange, we strengthen our collective capacity to anticipate, evaluate, and mitigate potential risks associated with the development and deployment of biotechnologies, genetically modified organisms, and other relevant applications”

The Cartagena Protocol’s core objectives align closely with the NBMA’s mandate of providing a regulatory framework for safety measures in biotechnology applications. By incorporating the principles and guidelines set forth in the Protocol, the NBMA has been able to enhance its regulatory capacity and ensure compliance with international biosafety standards. Through continuous capacity building initiatives, stakeholder engagement, and knowledge exchange programmes, the agency has fostered a culture of biosafety consciousness that transcends borders and promotes sustainable development.

In line with the Cartagena Protocol’s emphasis on risk assessment and risk management, the NBMA has implemented robust mechanisms to evaluate the potential risks associated with modern biotechnology applications. By leveraging the best available scientific knowledge and methodologies, the agency conducts thorough risk assessments to inform decision-making processes and protect the environment, biodiversity, and public health. This evidence-based approach has earned the NBMA recognition for its commitment to transparency, scientific integrity, and public trust.

Dr. Asagbra’s leadership at the helm of the NBMA has been characterized by a strong focus on collaboration, inclusivity, and innovation. By fostering partnerships with national and international stakeholders, advocating for evidence-based policy decisions, and promoting public awareness of biosafety issues, she has elevated the agency’s profile and influence within the biotechnology regulatory landscape. Her visionary leadership has inspired a culture of excellence and accountability within the NBMA, driving the agency to new heights of achievement and impact.

Indeed, the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), under the dynamic leadership of Dr. Asagbra, exemplifies a model of excellence in biotechnology regulation. By upholding the principles of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and demonstrating a steadfast commitment to safety, transparency, and innovation, the NBMA has reaffirmed its position as a key player in safeguarding Nigeria’s biosecurity and promoting sustainable development. Dr. Asagbra’s visionary leadership and strategic direction continue to inspire confidence, trust, and progress in the field of modern biotechnology regulation, setting a shining example for regulatory bodies on the continent.


Lawrence Audu is the Editor of Northeast Star Magazine and Publisher, DefTube Afrika.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.