Quarantine agency seeks govt. intervention on lab establishment

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The Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) called for the intervention of the Federal Government for the establishment of global standard laboratory within the agency for prompt and efficient service delivery.

Dr Akinjo Abiodun, the Director, Animal Quarantine Department of the agency made the call in Abuja.

He said the agency at the moment was relying on the National Veterinary Research Institute Laboratory (NVRI) in Jos to screen the samples taken from animals and conduct analysis before they are finally released.

Considering the number of samples that may be generated from Lagos, Port Harcourt and other parts of the country to Jos for screening with the backlog that may be available at the laboratory, such lapses will extend the quarantine period beyond the stipulated time.

“Normally, all animals on quarantine are expected to spend maximum of 21 days during which they will be screened to detect if they are harbouring diseases that could be harmful to human.’’

Abiodun, however, appealed to the government to prioritise establishment of the agency’s lab in order to address all the hitches that could occur in the verge to screen samples and analysis.

If the agency has its own well equipped laboratory with necessary reagents and rightful manpower, there will be quick diagnostic, analysis and results that meet global standard and the issue of demurrage will not occur.

“Therefore, we want our own global standard accredited lab to enable us screen samples so that whatever result that comes out of such lab will not be faulted in anyway.

“That will even encourage others to patronise us.

The Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) is a regulatory agency charged with the responsibility of preventing the introduction, establishment and propagation of animal and plant diseases.