SON to leverage accredited labs to end rejection of exports
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has stated that by leveraging its three accredited laboratories, the country would witness a gradual end to the incessant rejection of locally-made goods at the international market.
Besides, the agency noted that with the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) in full force, the unveiling of the accredited labs is apt as it would make made-in-Nigeria compete favourably with imported goods.
The Director-General, SON, Farouk Salim, at the unveiling of its accredited laboratories in the Ogba area of Lagos, said the laboratories would encourage manufacturers to produce quality goods and bring to an end, the high level of rejection faced by exports from Nigeria.
In his words: “Most of our manufacturers have been complaining that their products were rejected even by our local companies because the products are not certified because they do not have laboratory certificates to authenticate the standards. Now, that excuse is out of the way. Due to the export potentials of our industries and with the certification, it is easy for them to export anywhere in the world because an accredited laboratory means that whatever we say is good is good. It gives the nation credibility, it gives our manufacturers credibility, and it saves our foreign currency because they do not have to go to neighboring countries to get their products certified anymore so it is a win-win situation for everybody.”
The Director-General, also stated that with the accredited laboratories, Nigerian products would be accepted anywhere in the world, while also increasing the level of confidence of both local and foreign consumers of made-in-Nigeria goods.
“We are allowed to export to the United States, now with the accreditation showing that our products are up to standard, it means it would be easier for exporters to export to America and every other country in the world, so it makes things easier because there is legitimacy and authentication. The consumers abroad will have the confidence to buy goods coming from Nigeria because the certification shows that the goods have been tested and verified okay for consumption,” he added.
According to him, there are plans to establish more laboratories in the country in a bid to ensure that goods can be tested anywhere enjoining stakeholders in the industry to contribute their quota in its quest to build more world-class laboratories.
“Our main plan is that in every State, there should be a minimum of some laboratory activity that can be done because we do not want people travelling from one State to another because of testing. The three laboratories are a step forward especially with the AfCFTA in full force, a foreign invasion of goods and our local manufactured goods must be not only certified but assured to be up to standards to end the rejection of locally made goods,” he added.
Delivering her goodwill message, the Deputy Director, Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi, (FIIRO), Dr. Adebukola Huthman, commended the standards body for unveiling the accredited laboratories, saying that getting accreditation is not an easy feat especially in a country like Nigeria.
“I know what you had to go through to achieve this, but to go ahead to meet the tough requirements means that SON has done lots of beautiful work and it also shows that their results have a lot of integrity and there is high confidence in their result,” she said.
“An accredited laboratory means that Nigeria has the same standards as other countries in the world. SON’s laboratories are among the very few accredited laboratories in the world,” she added.
Also speaking, the Head, Planning, Research and Statistics, Institute of Public Analysts of Nigeria (IPAN), Emmanuel Odega, said to have three laboratories accredited at the same time is not an easy achievement, saying that SON and IPAN have come a very long way especially in the preparation of standards.
“Entire Nigeria is proud of what you are doing. Accreditation assures that your goods carry the same quality as any other country in the world and that is a boost to the economy, it will help to earn foreign exchange for the country because some of the products currently being taken away outside the shores of the country for testing will be stopped,” he added.
On his part, the Executive Secretary, Paints Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMAN), Jude Maduka, said the accreditation would ensure that made-in-Nigeria goods compete favourably in the AfCFTA, stressing that the laboratories would strengthen SON’s testing capabilities.