The National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) was established by the National Biosafety Management Agency Act 2015, to provide regulatory framework to adequately safe guard human health and the environment from potential adverse effects of modern biotechnology and genetically modified organisms, while harnessing the potentials of modern biotechnology and its derivatives, for the benefit of Nigerians. The Act came into force in April 2015, with the appointment of a Director General and Chief Executive Officer. The UN international agreement known as Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety which Nigeria signed is an environment protocol and it requires members to domesticate the agreement through a law. The Biosafety Act is therefore to domesticate the Protocol and address our National Biosafety requirements.
The National Biotechnology Development Agency has currently a biotechnology bill before the NASS. Its mandate is to promote biotechnology development in all sectors of the Nigeria economy. It is to promote indigenous acquisition and development of easy and affordable requisite biotechnology in Nigeria and Indigenous R & D to generate copious innovations in biotechnology as well as for the sustenance and growth of the biotech industry.
The National Biosafety Management Agency regulates modern biotechnology activities and the release into the environment, handling and use of genetically modified organisms which are products of modern biotechnology to prevent adverse impact on the environment and human health. On the other hand the National Biotechnology development Agency promotes modern biotechnology activities and GMOs.
The Biosafety protocol which Nigeria signed, requires a biosafety management and Regulatory Agency separate from biotechnology promoting Agency for transparency and to avoid biosafety being compromised and to also avoid the promoter being a judge in its case. This is the situation in other countries where there are biosafety laws and agencies.