Lagos State Government has flagged-off the first ever ultra modern International Standard Organisation, ISO, certified government-owned laboratory in Nigeria.
The laboratory was facilitated by the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, LASEPA.
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, speaking on Friday, during the official commissioning of the ultra-modern Laboratory, located in the premises of LASEPA, Alausa Ikeja, said that the upgraded and re-equipped laboratory will further improve the quality of life for residents.
Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tunji Bello, said the State Government has recorded another first in its environmental protection drive and in setting pace for good governance and the general well being of residents of the state, with the establishment of the lab.
According to him, the upgrading of LASEPA Laboratory became necessary as a result of the growing population of the state and the need to enhance the capacity of the agency to effectively deliver on its core mandate of monitoring the environment for safety and sustainability.
The governor, expressed satisfaction that the Laboratory earned the accreditation of the International Organization of Standardization for Quality Management System (ISO/IEC 9001) and Laboratory Management System (ISO/IEC 17025) which now makes LASEPA the first Government-owned environmental laboratory in Nigeria.
“This accreditation has given Lagos State a global recognition and acceptance as results generated from this laboratory are consistent and accurate through industry-standard protocols; and in line with best practices obtainable worldwide,” the Governor stated.
Sanwo-Olu, therefore, urged the management and staff of LASEPA, particularly those that would be charged with the responsibility of operating the Laboratory to do so with utmost professional care and high sense of responsibility.
“The Management must also, always keep in mind that to whom much is given, much is expected in return. Our administration will continue to invest in projects that are consistent with our goal of ensuring a healthy, safe and Sustainable environment.
“As we strive to bring about a more resilient and environmentally sustainable State, we look forward to a more purpose driven partnership with local and international bodies, academic institutions, researchers and non-governmental organizations,” Sanwo-Olu stated.
Earlier, Chairman, House of Assembly Committee on Environment, Rotimi Abiru, said that ‘the rate of human activities in all parts of the state and the huge population of residents of the State with different industries makes it compelling for government to be deliberate about paying attention to the environment.”
While noting that the initiative led credence to LASEPA’s resolve to ensure that all residents of the State have access to quality air to breath, Abiru appreciated the General Manager of the Agency and other environment-friendly stakeholders for championing the protection of the Lagos environment.
Giving an overview of the upgraded Laboratory, the General Manager LASEPA, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe, explained that the Laboratory formerly known as Laboratory Department, serving the then Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning was upgraded by Governor Sanwo-Olu.
According to her, the initiative of the ISO-certified laboratory, was in line with the present administration’s THEMES agenda which prioritizes Health and Environment, saying “the project resonates with LASEPA’s mandate of safeguarding the environmental quality of the state’s land, air and water resources.”
She described the ISO-certified laboratory as “a boost for the agency’s mandate in the area of monitoring the activities of industrial, commercial and government entities in the state to ensure compliance to the environmental management laws of the state while also achieving sustainable development.
Fasawe revealed that she identified the need for an upgrade and standardization of the agency’s laboratory processes following her deployment to the agency as the General Manager and upon realization that the mandate of LASEPA borders around effective laboratory services.
She explained; “The laboratory complex was constructed 32 years ago as a pollution control laboratory under the Governace of Raji Rasaki, a retired Brigadier-General in the Nigerian Army who was the then military governor of the state.
“However, during Governor Bola Tinubu regime, it metamorphosed into a full-fledged Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) laboratory with a strategic footprint, sectioned into seven different laboratory services.”
Fasawe added that the agency would not have been able to achieve the upgrading and re-equipping of the laboratory without Sanwo-Olu, who supported the initiative from incubation to completion, alongside the Commissioner for the Environment, some key members of the state Executive Council as well as some principal government officials.
The laboratory which was upgraded, through a carefully designed-work, now has a State-of-the-art environmental laboratory equipment and engineering processes according to ISO standards and best practices.
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