The federal government has said the certification of two laboratories of the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation will put to rest the incessant rejection of Nigerian produce abroad. The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga, said this when he unveiled the certification of the laboratories accredited in accordance with the recognised International Standard (ISO/IEC 17025:2005) for general requirement for competence of testing and calibration.
The accreditation demonstrates SON’s technical competence for a defined scope and the operation of a laboratory quality management system in the country.
Mr. Aganga said: “We are all making history here. It’s the first time two of our laboratories will be accredited in Nigeria simultaneously. The advantages are dual in the sense that whatever is certified not good for export is also not good for local consumption.”
“Exporters will no longer have to deal with discounted fees for our cocoa, cashew, groundnut and a host of other local produce by the international community as we will be going forward to get full value for our export,” he said.
The absence of a National Quality Policy (NQP) in the history of the country is estimated to have cost the country hundreds of millions with the recent certification seen as an enabler that will make products from the country competitive in the global market.
Dr Joseph Odumodu, SON D-G, said: “All government agencies involved in export will utilise the facility free of charge but the private sector will be required to pay some token.
“Currently, our exporters pay about 10 percent of their produce for certification. We expect them to pay as minimum 1 percent on our laboratory and export anywhere without going through another testing,” he added