Director-general of the National Biotechnology Development Agency NABDA, Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha has commended President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly NASS, over the prompt assent and passage of the NABDA Establishment Act 2022.
Recall that in April 2022, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the NABDA Establishment Bill 2022 into Law which confers the legal authority on the agency to conduct research and development in biotechnology.
Speaking during a press briefing to highlight the importance of the passage of the NABDA Act at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja, he described the government’s action as a clear demonstration of its commitment to transforming Nigeria using biotechnology.
He described biotechnology as an “accelerator of inclusive national growth” which provides a knowledge-based approach to solving public problems and ensuring future sustainability.
The NABDA DG pointed out that the agency was motivated to invest its uttermost into the passage of this Act, adding that its motivation stems from the fact that without creating an enabling legal framework for technoscientific innovations in the field of biotechnology, the actualisation of Nigeria’s quest for rapid industrialisation and her desire to become a high-income economy that maximises her competitive advantage will be impeded.
He opined that the passage of the Act is a testament to Nigeria’s readiness to harness cutting-edge technologies for sustainable development, particularly those that guarantee a better life for all Nigerians.
Adding that this development will enable the agency to consolidate Nigeria’s leadership in Africa’s biotechnology space and launch the nation into the stratosphere of global economic players.
Mustapha maintained that the act makes NABDA a corporate body with perpetual succession and a common seal.
“It is heartening to note that this development has moved NABDA from the realm of a promotional agency to that of a research institution. It has strategically poised NABDA to pursue its mandate of driving national development by ethically harnessing applications of biotechnology,” he said.
Furthermore, Mustapha said the Act confers the legal authority on the agency to conduct research and development in biotechnology; in priority areas of food security, agriculture, health, industry, environment and other strategic sectors for national development.
“The significance of this act is that the agency now has a legal framework that guides and guards its researches, which are aimed at boosting agricultural production, promoting environmental sustainability and the development of vaccines and drugs, amongst others” he added.