26 April 2012

Nigeria: U.S. Urges Country to Enact Biotech Law

The US Department of State has said that the US government would not bring in biotechnology resources into Nigeria until an appropriate legal framework is put in place in the country for the practice of modern biotechnology.

Fatuma Sanneh, Economic/Commercial Officer of US Department of State, disclosed this during a courtesy visit to National Biotechnology Development Agency headquarters in Abuja Tuesday, a statement signed by the head of communication of the agency, Mr Iletogun Babajide said.

Fatuma said that a legal framework needed to be in place for US to make a move saying "we have concern about the law, it has to be in place."

According to her, all overtures to reputable biotech companies in US will hardly yield any useful result until a biosafety law is enacted in Nigeria.

Earlier in his welcome address the Director General of the agency Professor Bamidele Solomon recalled how Monsanto and Syngenta, two leading biotech companies in US have shown some reservations in engaging in any serious dialogue on biotechnology practice in Nigeria.

He expressed optimism that sooner than expected the much awaited biosafety law will become a reality. He appealed to the visiting US official to assist in facilitating collaboration and linkages with reputable partners to help Nigeria quickly catch up in the evolving global bio-economy.

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