By Olasunkanmi Onifade, Abuja.
The National Biotechnology Development Agency(NABDA) on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with RAHAD Industries and Mesencell Biotechnology to boost biotechnology applications in the country.
The Director-General of NABDA, Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha, said the MoA was the beginning of a new chapter in the area of biotechnology in the country.
Recall that Morocco and Nigeria signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Oct. 25 in Abuja, Nigeria, for the research and development of biotechnology products and processes, including the production of bio-fertilizer and bio-fungicide.
Rahad Global Investment Limited signed the agreement on behalf of Morocco, while the Nigerian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation signed on behalf of the Federal Government.
Rahad Global Investment Limited is the Nigerian subsidiary of the Moroccan company, RVD Equipment Industries.
The agreement covers a variety of research and development efforts in many biotechnology products, including drinking water and wastewater treatment.
Others are gas treatment, sulphur dioxide reduction, soil biodegradation, use of stem cells for diabetics and cancer-related diseases.
Mustapha said that NABDA was an agency that was using biotechnology to promote the country’s development, adding that RAHAD was a company that engaged in biotechnology, research and development.
“Over a year ago, we had signed the MOU through the Ministry of Science and Technology and Innovation with these companies.
“The MoU is on the development of technologies and they have already brought the technologies to the country.
“Part of the MoU is to domesticate the technology here in the country for us to have first-hand skills,” he said.
Mustapha said that scientists and researchers would be properly trained in the usage of the technologies across the country.
The Managing Director of Rahad RVD Industries, Chbihi Driss said that a subsidiary of their group had developed four important technologies for Nigeria.
Driss said that these technologies included biotechnology for tank farm cleaning and soil bioremediation against pollution.
Others are biotechnological fertilizer to reduce the use of chemical products and increase the cultivable lands for self-sufficiency in consumable products and fertilizer products.
“Others include wastewater treatment to provide potable water of high quality and to avoid the diseases transmitted by wastewater that make pollution; regenerative medicine; immunotherapy and vaccines for Nigeria and West Africa,” he said.
The Chief Executive Officer(CEO), Mesencell Biotech, Steven Kellener, said that regenerative medicine was the vision of 21st Century.