Experts decry dearth of laboratories in Nigeria
IN comparison with what exists in developing and advanced countries of the world, the Institute of Public Analysts of Nigeria (IPAN) yesterday deplored the insufficient number of accredited laboratories in Nigeria.
IPAN in a stunning statistics released by its President, Dr. Dahiru Adamu yesterday said Nigeria has only two of such laboratories as against 340 in existence in South Africa.
China, in Adamu’s view has the highest number of accredited laboratories in the world followed by the United States with 13,000 while in South Korea there are 7,000 of such laboratories.
The IPAN, a parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Health, is the professional regulatory body of Public Analysts established by Section 1 of IPAN Act Cap. 116 LFN 2004 (formerly Decree No. 100 of (1992) to train, examine, register and regulate the practice of Public Analysts in Nigeria.
Public Analysts are professionals trained, registered and authorised by law to carry out laboratory analysis on consumer and health-related products such as; food, drugs, medical devices, cosmetics, water, consumer products, environment and so on. IPAN also issues certificates regarding their composition, use, quality, safety and efficacy.
The IPAN at its 21st Mandatory Training Workshop in Ilorin criticized sharply the alleged usage of foreign consulting and consultants alleged not to have passed through a due process of law of the nation.
According to Adamu, “We are suffering from dearth of registered laboratories in Nigeria. I think till date, we have only two or so in the country where other countries are having 300 in Africa. Furthermore, the use of foreign consulting and consultants who are not appropriately registered under our laws, to just monitor water produced for Nigerians is unacceptable.
IPAN members must be given the opportunity to do that. Else, it is a slap to the government in the face, who keeps on talking of creating jobs and wealth.”
Adamu nevertheless praised the Federal Government for the continuation of the exercise of laboratories registration in Nigeria adding that the existing programme of Nigeria National Quality Infrastructure would help in strengthening the existing analytical laboratories in the country.
Speaking on the theme of IPAN for the workshop ‘Your Laboratory, Your Business’, the IPAN boss said the topic was apt, as it would enlighten members on the roles of laboratories in the development of a nation. These he opined are: guaranteeing of citizens safety, boosting of trading capacity and increment in the areas of research for development purposes.
For the Acting Registrar of IPAN if the members of the association would attain the status of successful entrepreneurs in spite of the hostile economic clime, the institute should strive to expand the horizon for its members through collaboration with relevant organisations.