Bioterrorism threats, Accidental Laboratory Releases Make Bio-risk Management a Subject of Paramount Importance- Salako

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The challenges posed by emerging diseases, bioterrorism threats, and the potential consequences of accidental laboratory releases have made the subject of Bio-risk management a subject of paramount importance. This was stated by Nigerian Minister of state for Environment, Dr. Iziaq Adekunle Salako at the executive leadership training on Bio-risk management . The event which took place on Monday November 6th at the Transcorp Hilton Abuja was organised by the National Biosafety Management Agency and Health Security Partners.

Salako, in his address, said safeguarding our nation against biological threats is an integral part of national security which is a priority of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration.

”As aptly captured in the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Tinubu “the government will establish a bold and assertive policy that will create the strong yet adaptive national security architecture and action to obliterate terror” which of course must include bio-terrorism. I assure you that bio-security and safety is a top priority of Mr President in line with this vision.

”Today, as we embark on this journey of learning and collaboration, I want to emphasize the critical role that each of you plays in ensuring the safety of our environment, the health of our citizens, and the security of our nation. The National Biosafety Management Agency, along with the Health Security Partners, has taken the initiative to bring together experts and leaders from various sectors to share knowledge, exchange experiences, and develop effective strategies for mitigating bio-risks”, Salako noted

He said Bio-risk management is a subject of paramount importance in our rapidly changing world.

”The management of biological risks is no longer a choice but a necessity, given the challenges posed by emerging diseases, bioterrorism threats, and the potential consequences of accidental laboratory releases. The experience of the world with COVID-19 pandemic and the controversy still surrounding its origin should be enough lesson that humanity must be well prepared to risk-proof our world against biological threats which is of the 4 leading dangers with potentials to completely disrupt our existence. Our ability to effectively address these challenges relies on our collective commitment to education, preparedness, and strong leadership in this field”, he added.

Salako addressing the participants

On his expectation after the training program, Salako expected them to be better equipped to safeguard our environment and protect the well-being of our people.

”Over the course of this training program, I am informed that you will be exploring the latest advancements in bio-risk management, delve into case studies, and engage in hands-on exercises to enhance your capabilities. I expect that you will learn from one another, gain insights from renowned experts, and ultimately emerge as leaders who are better equipped to safeguard our environment and protect the well-being of our people.

”I want to stress the significance of a multidisciplinary approach to bio-risk management. The challenges we face cannot be tackled in isolation. It requires a collective effort from scientists, regulators, policymakers, and all those responsible for the safety of our environment and health. As leaders, it is our responsibility to set an example, to champion innovation, and instill a culture of preparedness within our organizations, communities and the entire nation.

”By the end of this training, I expect that all of you should be better prepared to meet the bio-risk management challenges of our time, with a clear vision of how to strengthen our collective resilience. Let me use this opportunity to thank the National Biosafety Management Agency and Health Security Partners for their unwavering commitment in this endeavor. I also want to commend each of you for your dedication to making a difference in the field of bio-risk management.
Let us embark on this journey together with enthusiasm, curiosity, and a shared sense of purpose. I have no doubt that this training will be a turning point in our collective efforts to protect the environment, enhance health security, and safeguard our nation”, the Minister of State for Environment concluded while declaring the training open.

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