Regulatory Agency to boost Nigerian products

David Adekunle, Lagos

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) is set to boost exports of Nigerian products through the avenue of standardisation.

Already, the Agency has begun setting the motion for this by commencing a staff certification programme, one of which held recently.

The plan of the Agency is to raise the quality profile of Nigerian made products, especially agricultural products, some of which had been banned, but  there is need to first build the capacity of its workforce of the Agency as a starting point.

Nigerian has huge potentials in the area of agriculture and the Agency is poised to help boost export of Nigerian agriculture products, right from the farms through the entire value chain.

The Director General of the Agency, Osita Aboloma agency said the Agency was also creating awareness on the challenges of processing of these products, and the fact that input such as fertiliser are also expensive to procure.

 “SON will issue certificates for such products, that will make them acceptable, not only in Nigeria, but also throughout the world after the accreditation, especially using the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) scheme,” he explained.

Mr. Aboloma  said that the latest move was in line with the implementation of ISO 170, as the training would become important, to ensure accreditation of the products and enhance the acceptability globally.

He emphasised on 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 is effective. The certificate would not only be acceptable at home but also throughout the whole world,” Mr Aboloma explained.

Reiterating that Nigeria could not have an effective manufacturing sector without quality assurance, he said that the SON would be available to mentor manufacturers in terms of what to bring into their processes

The activities of the Agency, in addition to ensuring safety of lives and property, also aims at conserving resources usually wasted in patronising substandard products.

The Chief Technical Adviser to UNIDO, Mr. Malik Shekar said   at the completion of the staff certification, the organisation’s certification would be acceptable not only in Nigeria, but throughout 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.

“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 said.

He recalled that SON Food and Chemistry Accredited Laboratories had been recently recertified and has large scope to test agricultural products.

Confidence O