FG urged to Strengthen Testing Labs across the country

The Society of Testing Laboratory Analysts of Nigeria has called on the Federal Government to strengthen Testing Laboratories in the country by investment in capacity building.

This would enable the country to overcome the challenge of product rejection in the international market.

The President, Society for Testing Laboratory Analysts of Nigeria, Prof. Olugbenga Ogunmoyela made this known at a News briefing in Lagos ahead of  the annual conference themed, ‘Building Capacity for Global Competitiveness of Testing Laboratories.

Prof. Ogunmoyele, who said Nigeria has less than fifty analytical laboratories in the food, pharma, environment and petroleum sector, serving over two hundred million people, explained that many of the laboratories lack capacity and are struggling in the face of infrastructural challenges, rising costs of imported equipment and reagents that have made it difficult to undertake effective planning and competitiveness.

“The fact that Nigeria and other African countries suffer product rejection and humiliation in the international market is traceable to this singular factor. The quantum of money the nation loses annually to product rejects and capital flight by those organisations and individuals that outsource their product analysis outside the country runs into billions of dollars annually”

“All these contribute to the unnecessary and preventable loss of income to the country. An immediate solution is for the federal government to dialogue with the society on how to build the capacity of the local laboratories and personnel in line with the best global practices. This is a cheaper faster, easier and all-encompassing solution for the government to embrace.”

In his contributions, the head, Public Relations Officer, Mr. Musa Gasali said Nigeria could no longer afford to have its analytical laboratories ill-equipped in the face of the prevailing global and regional competitions.

He noted that the topic  ” Building Capacity for Global Competitiveness of Testing Laboratories” is coming on the heels of concerns on the increased use of foreign laboratories for analysis of various products, as well as environmental analysis samples due to perceived lack of capacity in our local laboratories.

“The conference scheduled to hold on June 14 would focus on the increased use of foreign laboratories for analysis of various foods, pharma, medical devices, petroleum, products as well as environmental analysis samples due to the perceived lack of capacity of local laboratories.

According to Mr. Gasali, the country is in dire need of conserving its foreign exchange resources by looking inwards, empower local analytical laboratories by supporting capacity development initiative which  is timely and crucial if the must make maximum benefit of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement.

“From the foregoing, it is clear that the Society is determined to address, headlong, the debilitating challenges that have continued to hold the country back on various local and international fronts, in terms of quality assurance traceable to Analytical Laboratories. Among these are infrastructural, technological, financial, regulatory and manpower development and training challenges.“

Mr. Gasali said the conference of public analysts is slated to hold from June 14 to 16 with the theme “building capacity for global competitiveness of testing laboratories”.

By Yesirat Abiola

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