Food safety and quality
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Focal Point Information

Organization/agency name (Full name):
National Biotechnology Development Agency
Contact person name:
Dr. Lawan D. Suleiman
Physical full address:
Umaru Musa 'Yaraduwa Express Way, Abuja, Nigeria
Phone number:
+234 8071721620
Fax number:
Country introduction

The National Biosafety Act which is crucial in the management of Modern Biotechnology in Nigeria was signed into law in April 2016. This move opened the door for the domestication of modern biotechnology in Nigeria and allows the country to join the league of countries advanced in the use of this cutting edge technology as another window to boost economic development.

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 act paved way for the establishment of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA). 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 Biosafety Act will give the legal framework to check the activities of modern biotechnology locally as well as imported GM crops into the country while providing avenue to engage Nigerian scientist and experts from different fields to identify and pursue solutions to our local challenges. 

With the bill in place, Nigeria has begun the process for the commercialization og GM crops. Currently, Bt-cotton (Bollgard II), Bt. Cowpea, NEWEST Rice, and Bt. Sorghum are currently undergoing trials in over 97 CFT and on farm locations across the country.

The passage of this law will also ensure the much desired in-flux of foreign direct investment from notable world leading companies in Biotechnology thereby improving gross domestic product growth rate and increase job creation.

The Law will promote national security through the application of DNA finger printing for crime detection, paternity testing, identification etc.

It will also promote active commercialization of the research and development projects in our various Universities and Research Institutes hence improves our economy as well as support the country to become one of the leaders in Biotechnology, particularly in Africa.

Regulatory framework:
My country has a regulatory framework that requires the competent authority to conduct safety assessment of GM food.
Structure for GM food safety assessment:
My country has competent authority, agency, organization, ministry, department, committee, commission or a system/mechanism that is tasked to conduct or review GM food safety assessment.
Supplemental information:
Contact details of the competent authority(s) responsible for the safety assessment and the product applicant:
GM food safety assessment guidelines:
My country follows the relevant Codex Guidelines or national/regional guidelines that are in line with the Codex Guidelines in conducting safety assessment of GM food.
Conduct of GM food safety assessment:
My country regularly conducts food safety assessment of GM food.
Supplemental information on the implementation:
Stacked events
Regulation of stacked events:
In my country, GM food/feed that contains stacked event(s) is considered as a new product even if all single events that are stacked have already approved.
Supplemental information on the stacked events:

Nigerian President has finally signed the National Bio-safety Agency Bill, which is a milestone in the domestication of modern biotechnology in Nigeria, into law. Recall that the bio-safety bill, sponsored by the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) was initially passed by the 6th National Assembly in 2011 but was not assented to by the president and it became time barred. This would allow for the safe application of biotechnology to boost economic development in Nigeria, and allow the country to join the league of countries advanced in the use of this cutting edge technology as another window to boost economic development. It will create more employment, boost food production that will put a smile on the faces of farmers and elevate hunger. Provide management of bio-safety and other related matters and it seeks to harness the potentials of modern biotechnology under a legal regulatory regime; ensure environmental, human and socio-economic safety while harnessing the benefits associated with the practice of modern biotechnology and its outputs and exercise the sovereign right over all the nation’s natural resources and authority to regulate access to such resources. The bill will allow Nigeria to commercialize Bt-cotton, Bt-maize, Herbicide Tolerant (HT)-soya beans, which are already in South Africa, Burkina Faso and Egypt. “This can lead to increased yield productivity to ensure food security and industrial growth especially in the ailing Textile Industries. It will also promote the quantity and quality of cotton that the Nigeria can export.

Production and trade
GM food/feed production:
My country produces GM food or feed only for research purposes.
GM food/feed imports:
My country allows imports GM food or feed upon authorization.
Supplemental information on the production and trade:
LLP/AP incidents
LLP/AP incidents:
My country has not faced any LLP/AP situations in the last 10 years.
Supplemental information on the LLP/AP incidents:

Food and feed imports will be allowed into my country as long as they have approval
from NBMA.

Labelling requirement
Labelling requirement:
My country has a mandatory and positive labeling regulation on GM food (i.e., It contains GMO).
Supplemental information on the Labelling requirement:

Mycountry will mandate where necessary for GM foods to be labeled  so that consumers will make well informed decisions.

Relevant links to documents and information prepared by the competent authority responsible for the safety assessment
Other relevant documents:
Country information last modified: