The Nigerian Institute Of Science Laboratory Technology (NISLT), has deplored the unending acrimony between its members, stressing that the disposition was inimical to the actualisation of the common goal of the profession, and significantly slowed down the pace of professionalisation.
It has also expressed dismay at the rift between members of the NISLT, and members of the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN).
The Director-General/Registrar/CEO of NISLT, Ibadan, Yemi H. Gbadegesin, in his address at the opening ceremony of the 36th Annual National Conference/Scientific Workshop of the Association Of Science Laboratory Technologists Of Nigeria (ASLTON), which took place at the University of Jos, Plateau State, expressed concern that a lot of grounds would be lost if such atmosphere prevails for long.
For a while now, some dissatisfied members of the association have been at daggers drawn with the body over the latter’s alleged failure to address some of their concerns timeously.
But in responding to this and other niggling challenges affecting the practice in the country, Gbadegesin stressed the need for aggrieved members to burry their hatchets and work together for the realisation of the common goal of the science laboratory technology profession.
He said: “Ladies and gentlemen, the institute has several challenges, including our members in the education industry and research institutes not working together for the common goal of our profession, a development, which has significantly slowed down the pace of professionalisation in dealing with aggravated unemployment problem among our noble members.
“I implore all of us here today (physically or virtually) to change the narrative and situation. Let us work together to improve the profession, and for our unborn children. On its part, the institute will provide a suitable environment needed for us to work together to have a mutualistic association leading to the rapid growth of the Institute and that of the association. We should henceforth, stand tall in integrity, be impeccable in character, professional in service, alert to global trends and uphold high ethical and professional standards,” he stated.
Gbadegesin also noted that: “On assumption of office on July 1, 2021, new goals were set for the institute and that of the members ranging from the issue of aggravated unemployment, manning of science laboratories, and headship/teaching in Science Laboratory Technology (SLT) departments or schools of SLT, which must be handled vigorously. In realisation of these set goals, the institute has begun the sensitisation of stakeholders for them to get acquainted with NISLT’s mandate, vision, and mission, as well as flagship programmes.”
The rift between members of the NISLT and members of the MLSCN, also got the registrar’s attention in the opening speech, where he called on both parties to display maturity.
He also assured that the rift would be brought before stakeholders of the two bodies for a lasting solution, while NISLT members were advised to concentrate on other areas of science laboratory profession, rather than areas that have to do with clinical or medical profession.
On strides so far achieved by the profession, he informed attendees that in October 2021, the University of Port Harcourt approved a postgraduate programme for SLT, even up to Ph.D. level, while the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (FMSTI) also agreed with the NISLT for science laboratories and teaching/headship of SLT department across universities and polytechnics in the country to be manned by appropriate professionals.
“The University of Jos is presently working on its postgraduate programme in SLT,” he said, adding that, “ it is a criminal offence for anybody practicing in Nigeria without registering with the relevant professional body as enshrined in Presidential Executive Order No 5, Section 2.”
The theme of the conference was “Empowering the Laboratory Technologists/Scientists for sustainable Science and Technology Development in Nigeria in the face of COVID-19.”
The conference provided an opportunity for scientists/technologists to share knowledge with relevant stakeholders who have worked seriously in curbing the pandemic since 2020 and what SLT can offer.