Nigeria’s Rufus Ebegba emerges chairman of African biosafety forum

Dr. Rufus Ebegba, the Director General/CEO, National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA)

Dr. Rufus Ebegba, the Director General/CEO, National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) has emerged as the interim Chairman of the newly established African Union Biosafety Regulators Forum. Gloria Ogbaki, Head, Press Unit, NBMA, made this known in Abuja on Saturday.

Ogbaki said Ebegba’s emergence was part of resolutions reached at the end of a training organised by the African Union and African Union Development Agency-NEPAD.

She said the training was on Genome Edition and the Post UN Biodiversity Conference 2018 Review Meeting for African Biosafety Regulators in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Friday.

According to her, members said the establishment of the forum and the adoption of Ebegba was a landmark achievement in the stride for Africa to attain excellent biosafety levels.

“In the four years since the establishment of the NBMA, Dr. Ebegba has piloted the affairs of the agency ,which has led to the establishment of a boisterous Nigerian biosafety system, which is seen as a model and has been replicated across other African countries.

He ensured the establishment of a state-of-the-art genetic modification and detection laboratory which has trained and played host to scientists and students from every corner of Africa”,he said.

She said Egbega had spear-headed the collaboration between NBMA and agencies such as NAFDAC, Customs, and others to protect the country from being a dumping ground for Gentically Modified Organisms.

Ogbaki said the collaborations also helped ensure  that Nigerians and Nigeria reaped the benefits of the products of modern biotechnology.

She also stated that Ebegba dedicated his new position as the interim Chairman of the Forum to his country, Nigeria.