Nigerian lawmakers urging passing of BWC

Nigerian lawmakers have been urged lawmakers to pass a bill to ratify the United Nations Biological Weapons Convention by the end of 2010.

Professor Gabriel Ogunmola, chairman of the International Council for Science, said that the major problem holding up ratification was the absence of an enabling law to back up implementation, reports.

“Without this law, we cannot prevent bio-violence; we cannot safeguard the security of the state; we cannot put the protocol for controlling what goes on in the laboratory and how we can deter bioterrorism,” Ogunmola said, according to “The earlier we ratify the bill, the earlier we can start operating the convention. I hope the National Assembly will take it as a matter of great important and pass this bill before the end of the year.”

Nigeria originally signed the convention in 1972.

Ogunmola, who also serves as the director of science and technology development in the southwestern Nigerian city of Ibadan, also believes that there is a strong need for Nigeria to pass UN Resolution 1540 along with the BWC.

Ogunmola told that the convention must be implemented as the development of biotechnology and molecular technology has made it easy to add pathogens to biological weapons. He also called for more effective policing at the country’s airports, seaports and other borders to avoid illegal proliferation and important of weapons of mass destruction.