Biotech Updates

Nigerian Stakeholders Call for President to Pass Biosafety Law

March 25, 2015

Nigerian stakeholders are calling for the passing of the biosafety bill into law by the country's President, Goodluck Jonathan.

Speaking during the launch of the 2014 ISAAA report on commercialized biotech crops on March 12, 2015, the Nigerian Minister for Science and Technology, Dr. Abdu Bulama, expressed the country's need for biotechnology to address myriad of agricultural related challenges including hunger, increasing population, and declining food production. He stressed the need for a Biosafety bill currently awaiting Presidential assent into law. Expressing his optimism that the President would pass the bill into law, Dr. Bulama said that the Head of State would pass the bill since he is passionate about the well-being of the country's farming population, as well as the need for Nigeria to harness the benefits of agricultural biotechnology.

Numerous farmers attended the event and called on the President to sign the Biosafety bill into law. The President of Cotton Ginners Association (CGA), Alhaji Salmanu Abudullahi who spoke on behalf of a coalition of Nigerian farmers argued that the biosafety law would boost the Federal Government's ongoing Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA). "The Biosafety law will empower our agricultural research institutes to continue with their work on biotech crops and ultimately commercialize the positive outcome of their research findings for the benefit of farmers." said Mr. Abudullahi.

This comes at a time where the Nigerian House of Representatives and the Senate, who have recently approved the bill and produced a common version of the same, are preparing to transmit it to the Head of State for assent.

The event was organized by Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB)-Nigeria.

For more information on the event and OFAB Nigeria, contact Dr Rose S.M. Gidado, Head OFAB & Biotechnology Awareness Unit at the National Biotechnology Development Agency at