By Emmanuel Elebeke
The Federal Government says it is working hard to apply Genetic Engineering and Bio- Technology so as to ensure food safety and security in the country.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu disclosed this while declaring open a training workshop on Basic Laboratory Training on Living Modified Organisms Detection and Identification on Tuesday in Abuja.
Dr. Onu, said the Federal Government has recognized the immense importance of Genetic Engineering and Bio-Technology to the progress of the nation, adding that it would boost local production of food and commodities and minimize the need for continuous import.
“The Federal Ministry of Science and Technology. Will continue to support the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) in carrying out this very important mandate to help our country not only in the area of agriculture but also protecting our environment and in ensuring the desire of our nation to Industrialize rapidly is achieved”.
Dr. Onu commended the ingenuity of the conference organizers, saying it is coming at a timely period and noted the presence of credible scientists from about Twenty-One countries. Their contribution, he added, will go a long way in bridging the knowledge gap in genetic engineering and bio-technology.
The Minister further expressed utmost confidence in the purpose of the workshop, to aid in the furtherance of knowledge which would be of immense benefit to the entire human race.
Earlier, the Acting DG/CEO of National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Prof. Alex U. Akpa said Nigeria had embraced bio-Technology and genetic engineering, for better improvement in crops and animal production.
“We have made significant investments in modern Bio-Technology to assist in deepening awareness of the Technology and its impact on national growth and development”.
The Representative of the Executive Secretary of The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD), Austein McLoughlin, said close cooperation with developing nations would be sustained in a bid to identify the importance of Living modified organisms.