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NIGERIA: Why signing biosafety bill is delayed – Science Minister

Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Ita Bassey has attributed the delay by President Jonathan to sign the Biosafety Bill passed by the Senate, now close to three years on July 20, 2010 to some careful study by the Presidency to enable it work in tandem with what is required to bring output that will take advantage of the Bill.

The minister said this in an exclusive interview with Vanguard during the commissioning ceremony of Kaurar Bella Integrated Renewable energy Model village in Sokoto recently.

According to him, “We are not so much bothered about the delay because we are actually working in tandem with what is required to bring output that will take advantage of the Bill. The process of signing the Biosafety Bill has been put in place. You know there are several bills that have to be considered and I believe Mr. President will take his time,” he told Vanguard.

He added that though the bill has been delayed, studying it in its entirety would pave the way for signing the bill. “The Bill as you are aware of may have taken some time, but we believe that if we have the process of looking at the bill in its entirety, it will be sign soon. He will look at the issues – the pros and cons and then he will take his time to sign the Bill.”

On the need for solar energy, Prof. Ita said: “We need other components that will feed the national grids. What we call a mixed energy source that can actually feed the grid so that it can support the population. In this context we want to take this advantage of the solar intensity notably in Sokoto as well as in other parts of this country to improve on the solar technology. We have used the Solar Centre here in Sokoto to have a pilot plant, the success of which will enable us replicate in other communities.”

The minister further said that inadequate funding of research and development for universities, was as a result of other priority sector like roads, health education among others.

“On national tray we have areas of priorities. We have the road sector; the health sector; the education sector and within the education sector, perhaps you have the areas of technology. The resources we have may not be sufficient.”

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