The Society of Testing Laboratory Analysts of Nigeria, SoTLAN, has called on the Federal Government to help raise the capacity of practitioners as it revealed that though the society has over 1,200 registered analysts, there are less than 50 registered analytical laboratories in the country in the food, pharmaceutical, environment and petroleum sectors.
President of SoTLAN, Prof. Olugbenga Ogunmoyela, stated this at 2022 Conference of Public Analysts held in Alausa, Ikeja.
Prof. Ogunmoyela said that analysts carry out laboratory analysis and other related functions on food, drugs, medical devices, cosmetics, water, chemicals and other products and they also issue certificates of fitness or otherwise on the products for the purpose of human use.
Ogunmoyela noted that though the law empowers public analysts to operate independent analytical laboratories in the country and offers services to individuals, public and organisations at prescribed fees.
“Even with the presence of a few specialised and excellent local analytical laboratories, many of them lack capacity and are struggling in the face of infrastructural challenges, constantly rising costs of imported equipment and reagents, which has made it difficult for us to undertake effective planning and competitiveness.”
Prof. Ogunmoyela pledged 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.
Speaking on the theme “Capacity for Global Competitiveness of Testing Laboratories”, Country Director, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition in Nigeria, GAIN, Dr. Micheal Ojo explained that for a nation which is in dire need of conserving its foreign exchange resources by looking inwards, there is need for government and all stakeholders to empower local analytical laboratories by supporting this capacity development initiative is timely and crucial if we are to make maximum benefit of the African Continent Free Trade Area Agreement.
He noted that Nigeria could no longer afford to have its analytical laboratories ill-equipped in the face of the prevailing global and regional competition.
“There is strategic investment to build capacity of Laboratories in the country with development partners, the society also need to become more active in playing their roles by coming up with good business plans”.
“There is need to rebrand and building clients with the right partnership can help to surmount the challenge faced by practitioners in the sector”.
Dr. Ojo added that industry captains, laboratory owners and employees, commodity importers and exporters, government regulatory agencies, product consumers, government policy makers, public opinion leaders and the general public to partner with them.