He said that the meeting was to intimate the operators on the provisions of the Act establishing the agency so that they would not feign ignorance of it.
He said: “This is in line with the Act of the agency to refocus Nigeria in the area of modern biotechnology practice to ensure proper regulation for safety of human consumption and the environment.”
He said: “We have segmented our meeting with stakeholders, particularly those in the food and agriculture sector.
“This meeting is for them to understand that some of their products need to be properly ascertained before they are imported so that they will not run foul of the law.
“We are aware that some of these stores import foods from countries that are already consuming GMs.
“We understand the economic benefits of these stores to the Nigerian economy, especially in the areas of job creation and markets, but we must know that the law is not a respecter of persons.
“NBMA will not make the mistake in the enforcement of this.
“We are very serious about this.”
Ebegba said the agency was currently working with the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control and the National Agriculture Quarantine Service to ensure that permits were adequately issued.
Umar Yahaya, the Customer Service/Surveillance Manager of NEXT Cash and Carry Mall, appealed to the agency to provide guidelines for the permit to enable operators comply with the laws.
Representatives from Shoprite, a South African-based chain stores operating across the country, also attended the meeting.
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