Institutional Mechanisms For Biosafety in Nigeria: An Appraisal of the Legal Regime Under the National Biosafety Management Agency Act, 2015

 
 

Menes Abinami Muzan
LLB, BL, LLM (SOAS, University of London),
Lecturer, Department of Public Law, Faculty of Law,
University of Port Harcourt,
P.M.B 5323, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
menes.muzan@uniport.edu.ng

 

The National Biosafety Management Agency Act of 2015 has established a designated national authority to, among other things, regulate modern biotechnology activities which may cause harm to human health and Nigeria’s enormous biodiversity. Although the Biosafety Management Agency Act essentially leaves the substantive part of the biosafety framework  including issues of liability and redress, to ‘futurure’  subsidiary legislation, arguably, these institutional measures demonstrate to some extent  that the Nigerian government is committed to  its multilateral environmental obligations for biosafety. This article generally appraises Nigeria’s biosafety regime under the 2015 National Biosafety Management Agency Act against the backdrop of and as a complement to Nigeria’s l multilateral biosafety obligations, by analyzing the extent to which the international framework is supportive of Nigeria’s domestic biosafety institutional arrangements. The article therefore, contributes to the evolving debates on the need for biosafety measure and thus argues that the ratification of the Cartagena Protocol on biosafety and the enactment of the Biosafety Management Agency Act are both positive developments which complement regulatory efforts and de facto implies that Nigeria cannot reject genetically modified organisms anymore. Hence, the country has become part of the biotechnology world and has a legally-mandated institution that regulates modern biotechnology activities for socio-economic development.

 

Biosafety, Biosafety Management Act, Cartagena Protocol, genetically modified organisms, Modern biotechnology, Nigeria.

 

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