By Bennie Mundando
HIGHER Education Minister Engineer Dr. Brian Mushimba called on the National Bio safety Authority (NBA) to continue its regulatory work in Gene Technology and Ensuring Bio safety.
Speaking in a speech read on his behalf by his Permanent Secretary, Kayula Siame, during the official hand over of the first phase of the NBA offices in Chilanga, Dr. Mushimba said it is time people appreciated biotechnology that it is here to stay as it provides for solutions to agriculture, health, and the environment.
He called on NBA to broaden sensitisation on the use of Generically Modified Organisms (GMOs) to the populace as the act and policy are reviewed in order to provide a correct perception and remove the negative connotations.
Dr. Mushimba said science is part of our daily lives and it is therefore important to embrace it in our daily activities.
He said this was a testimony witnessed today because President Edgar Lungu had underscored the importance of local constructors and the promotion of job creation hence the Government through his Ministry created employment during the rehabilitation of NBA Offices.
“In view of the 2030 vision, it is important to reflect on what has been scored and make headway. The NBA must collaborate with other science Institutions in order to move on the research agenda progressively for the development of the country,” Dr. Mushimba said.
And NBA Registrar and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Lackson Tonga said it was gratifying to have NBA offices completed as this milestone arrived at emanated from a charge that was directed by the ministry to find alternatives on financial cost reduction on rentals of the previously occupied office space seating on the sister institution, National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research (NISIR).
Mr. Tonga said Government was providing a single window facility real time on GMOs to scrutinize entry points, and disclosed that NBA was also up scaling on partnership involvements with a number of entities and currently having collaborations with the ZRA.
And immediate past board chairperson Dr. Paul Zambezi expressed happiness for NBA’s new offices that the Ministry facilitated through the sister Institution NISIR.
Dr. Zambezi commended the Government for rehabilitating NBA offices as rental bills shall now be a thing of the past.
He called on the minister to extend rehabilitation of the infrastructure on the remaining buildings of the sister Institution NISIR were NBA seat Laboratories that are a nerve centre of the Biosafety research activities,
He called on the ministry to facilitate for the appointment of a Regular Scientific Committee and NBA board.