Biotech Updates

Nigerian Scientists Wait for Biosafety Bill Approval

April 29, 2011

Biotechnology scientists in Nigeria are fearful that the 2007 Biosafety Bill passed by the country's lower chamber would expire its tenure on May 29, 2011, before receiving action from the upper house. The government is currently in the midst of elections, thus there is a possibility that an action will be overlooked.

Once this Bill is passed, biotechnology products would have a way to be proven safe and eventually reach commercialization. This would also lead to research and development grants and opportunities, which had been inaccessible in the country due to lack of enabling facilities, according to Bamidele Solomon, director-general of the National Biotechnology Development Agency.

Daniel Aba, a sorghum breeder at Ahmadu Bello University is trying to develop a variety that contains vitamin A, iron and zinc. "If the Biosafety Bill is not in place, it means that the research will remain within research centers," he said.

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