The Minister of the Federal Ministry of Environment, Hon. Balarabe Lawal, has given a hint on how to attain food security in the country. According to Lawal, the role of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) is pivotal to achieving the food security goal of the Federal Government.
The minister stated this during his familiarisation visit to the agency and lauded NBMA for the great work being done in the area of scientific research and safeguarding the nation, and further encouraged the agency to continue to be the first and foremost in the area of biosafety on the continent. Lawal advised the agency to extend its work to other state governments through collaboration to create more awareness about biosafety. The minister also advised members of staff to be punctual and imbibe team spirit towards the attainment of high productivity.
The Director-General/Chief Executive Officer of NBMA, Dr. Agnes Asagbra highlighted the impact of the agency in safeguarding health of humans, plants, animals and the environment. Dr. Asagbra emphasised that the agency had provided a robust enabling environment for indigenous and foreign scientists to practice modern biotechnology under a robust legal framework. She restated that NBMA would not rest on its oars in ensuring safety in the application of modern biotechnology, which is key to attaining food security in Nigeria.
In a related development, Hon. Lawal has solicited for synergy among staff members to realise the mandate of the National Council on Climate Change (NCCC) office. According to the minister, “the NCCC is a growing venture, so you must grow to get to the target”. The minister made this known during his familiarisation visit to the NCCC Office, in Abuja. “I’m sure you must have some issues and a lot of hurdles to cross, but with determination, dedication and commitment of the staff, the council will get to the target”, he stressed. Lawal added that the Director-General of the council cannot do it alone, saying “he needs your support and that support is what we require to move the council forward, as this will give the council the opportunity to achieve its main goal”.
The minister stated further that “we have a President, who has very special interest on issues of climate change. I have seen Mr. President attending high level meetings at different occasions during UNGA (United Nations General Assembly) and the just-concluded COP28 (Climate Change Conference) in Dubai. I can see his passion and commitment to issues on climate change. So, let us keep the momentum by trying as much as possible to key in and support Mr. President’s Renewed Hope Agenda on climate change”.
The minister appealed to the NCCC to understand the intricate workings of every facet within the ministry’s purview as well as the fundamental values of synergy, dedication, mentoring, punctuality, and teamwork to deliver on the council’s mandate. “Let us remain steadfast in our commitment to environmental stewardship and collective teamwork. Together, we can pave the way for a sustainable future for generations to come”, he said. Responding, the Director-General of NCCC, Dr. Salisu Dahiru informed that “since the establishment of the NCCC in 2022, we have never seen a brighter day than today and I have said this with all sense of humility”, as he assured the minister of his unalloyed support to achieving the ministry’s mandate.