Abuja, Nigeria (CU)_ According to Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha, Director-General of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), biotechnology has the capacity to expedite inclusive national progress in Nigeria. Mustapha stated this during a media interview in Abuja. According to the Director General, biotechnology offers a knowledge-based approach to addressing societal issues.
Mustapha noted that during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, biotechnology provided a speedy and safe answer to a number of problems that occurred as a result of the pandemic. According to him, the Act forming the organization grants the agency the ability to pursue biotechnology research and development in key sectors such as food security, agriculture, health, industry, and the environment.
According to Mustapha, the important part of the Act is that NABDA has now established a legal network that governs and safeguards its research. He stated that the purpose of these studies was to increase agricultural output, improve environmental sustainability, and develop vaccinations and medications, among other things. He said, “In addition, the Act will enable the agency to draw up programmes and policies for biotechnology utilization in Nigeria; create an avenue to publish and disseminate research findings and recommendations of the agency on biotechnology”.
According to Mustapha, the passing of the Act will accelerate the commercialization of biotechnology R&D goods. Mustapha said, “Let me express my profound gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for his unwavering commitment to make Nigeria the largest economy in Africa. Also, for his vision to use biotechnology to foster socio-economic development, enhance the wellbeing of Nigerians and promote social stability”. He added, “His prompt assent to the National Biotechnology Establishment Act, 2022 is another clear demonstration of the government’s commitment to transform Nigeria from a consuming, Import-dependent nation to a producing, export–oriented economy’’.
Mustapha said that the legislators have shown their deep knowledge of the dynamics of development in a globalized knowledge economy by passing the bill into law. He asserted that no government could duplicate the development ‘miracle’ of the Asian Tigers while insulating science from democracy. Mustapha stated that NABDA was promoting Nigeria’s dairy industry and aiming to enhance cattle genetics through its research initiatives. He explained that this was intended to boost the milk and meat production capabilities of indigenous cattle.
Mustapha stated, “The economic impact of the dairy industry is enormous, ranging from employment opportunities to increasing the nation’s GDP. Also, the agency has helped to meet critical needs in Nigeria by identifying indigenous bacteria as Starter Culture for yogurt and other dairy uses. Additionally, a thermal resistant yeast was developed for bio ethanol production, bakery and other food beverages’’.