Oyo State governor Seyi Makinde has appealed to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the World Health Organisation for certification of a laboratory located inside International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) as a testing centre for COVID-19.
He made the appeal on Tuesday while receiving the NCDC management and WHO officials at the Government house in Agodi, Ibadan, Oyo State capital.
Governor Makinde said the request for the approval of the IITA facility was imperative in view of the need to increase the numbers of laboratories in the state going by the large population and the desire to increase testing facilities.
He added that the institution had written letters to the NCDC and the state government in respect of the request for certification of the laboratory.
Makinde said further that Oyo State, as a vast and populated state, require additional laboratories, adding that if Lagos had six certified laboratories by NCDC, then two or three laboratories wouldn’t be bad for Oyo State.
He reiterated the determination of his administration to test at least 10,000 people in the shortest possible time.
The NCDC boss, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu in response expressed satisfaction at the testing centres and infectious disease centre inspected.
He lauded efforts of the state government in containing the pandemic.
“I am impressed with the commitment of the government and all the resources in the state. I am happy that people are coming together across the federal and state institutions in Oyo State. And I think working together with WHO support, the NCDC support and all aspects of the government, we can really create a great example for the country here in Ibadan.
“The key thing for this treatment centre is to get things started; to get the first set of patients in and try whether the systems move. You can never know how good a house is until someone is living inside. So, we have to bring in the first patients and make sure that everything works fine and we can grow from there.
“I think this centre will serve Nigeria, not just Oyo State. It will serve the entire country for many years for all sorts of infectious diseases, for research, for diagnosis and for care,” Ihekweazu added.
The NCDC boss said he looks forward to coming back to Oyo State and seeing a vibrant centre with workers, patients, researchers, and more activities.