The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) is set to boost exports of Nigerian products through the avenue of standardisation. This the agency has started doing through the staff certification programme recently held in Lagos. Determined to raise the quality profile of Nigerian made products, especially agricultural products some of which had been banned, the agency said there was need to first build the capacity of its workforce as a starting point.
It said Nigerian had huge potentials in the area of agriculture and that the agency was poised to help boost export of Nigeria agriculture products, right from the farms through the entire value chain. The agency is doing this well aware of the challenges of processing of these products, and the fact that input such as fertiliser are also expensive to procure. The SON would issue certificates for such products, which would make them acceptable, not only in Nigeria, but also throughout the world after the accreditation, especially using the MANCAP scheme.
The latest move is in line with the implementation of ISO 1705. The SON Director-General, Mr Osita Aboloma, said the training had become important to ensure accreditation of the products and enhance the acceptability globally. He emphasised the need to inculcate in Nigerian manufacturers, the culture of good entrepreneurship so that doing business regionally and globally becomes easy for them. “After this training, some of such products have to be certified. SON is already very effective in MANCAP, and the SON has taken steps to ensure the MANCAP certification effective. The certificate would not only be acceptable at home but also throughout the whole world”.
Reiterating that Nigeria could not have an effective manufacturing sector without quality assurance, he added that the SON would be available to mentor manufacturers in terms of what and what to bring into their processes The SON DG said the activities of his agency, in addition to ensuring safety of lives and property, also aims at conserving resources usually wasted in patronising substandard products.
This he said is why it had become very necessary to ascertain the propriety or otherwise of things being shipped into the count, saying amongst others, it would protect the local manufacturing environment from unfair habits. According to him, this would mean a win-win situation for stakeholders for the nation and for its global partners, observing that it would raise global and domestic confidence level on Nigerian products and processes. Mr Malik Shekar, Chief Technical Adviser to UNIDO expressed commitment of the current leadership of SON, under Osita Aboloma taking the organisation to a greater height will not be farfetched. “He is putting his zeal on accreditation of more laboratories and more emphasis on manpower development and this is a good step in the right direction,” he said.
The UNIDO Chief noted that at the completion of the staff certification, the organisation’s certification would be acceptable not only in Nigeria but through out the world “This is in line with the ISO 1705, it is key to penetrate the export market. SON would be integrated into the global network and all over the world, people want to know or see the test certificate and competence behind it,” he said. “In trade agreement, both parties engaged in trade would only know if a product would meet your expectations, it is simply by looking at the test certificate, the lab that conducted the test and if the certification is integrated in the global network?
In other words, with the accreditation infrastructure in place, there would be more confidence on any issued certificate,” he added. He recalled that SON Food and Chemistry Accredited Laboratories had been recently recertified and have large scope to test agriculture products.
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