L-R: *Mr Emmanuel Odega* _Director, Planning Research and Statistics, Department, IPAN;_ *Mrs. Oluyemi Hannah,* _COPA 2022 LOC Chairperson;_ *Prof. Olugbenga Ogunmoyela* _President, SoTLAN;_ and *Mr Aliyu Angara,* _Registrar/CEO, IPAN_
By Joy Omagha Idam, 12 June 2022
The Society of Testing Laboratory Analysts of Nigeria (SoTLAN) has requested the federal government to initiate a dialogue with the organisation on how best to build the capacity of laboratories in the country.
Speaking on Friday during a Press Conference in Lagos ahead of the 4th Annual Conference of Public Analysts, Prof Olugbenga Ogunmoyela, SoTLAN President, said the use of foreign laboratories by major players in the country has affected the development of local laboratories.
Prof Ogunmoyela, said Nigeria and other African countries suffer product rejection and humiliation in the international community as they cannot match global best practices.
“This is coming on the heels of various concerns on the increased use of foreign laboratories for analysis of various food, pharms, medical devices, petroleum products as well as environmental analysis samples due to perceived lack of capacity in our local laboratories,” Ogunmoyela said.
“For a nation which is in dire need of conserving its foreign exchange resources by looking inwards, the need for FG 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 Continental Free Trade Area Agreement.
He noted further that “with less than fifty registered laboratories in Nigeria today that have achieved international accreditation due mainly to lack of support, compared to over 500 accredited such laboratories in South Africa, the country cannot effectively maximise the opportunities in this sector in the certification of quality of our products as well as imports, for the growth of our economy.
“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” he stated.
“There is no doubt that each of these challenges is capital intensive. Therefore, leaving a laboratory owner to face such challenges solely has been identified as a major factor responsible for the lack of growth and capacity development in our laboratories in the global context” the President SoTLAN 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”.
The opening ceremony of the programme will be headlined by Celine Maduemezia, a professor and member of the board of trustees of SoTLAN.
Keynote address will be delivered by Michael Ojo, Country Director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition in Nigeria.
He added that the unsavory saga of importation of adultrated petroleum products into the country as recently witnessed was still fresh and calls for a deliberate action by the FG in Collaboration with SoTLAN to end this saga.
The last day of the conference will start with an open forum for members to be led by owners. While Mr William Onwuka Managing Director and CEO Fine Spectra Consult Ltd will deliver the final technical session paper titled “Partnerships for Increased Competitiveness of Testing Laboratories”
According to the SoTLAN President the Conference will draw to a close with the Annual General Meeting at which Bye Elections will be conducted into the Executive Committee.