AfCFTA: SON unveils 37 standards to boost exports
In a bid to strategically
reposition itself for effective regulatory functions with the commencement of
African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), has unveiled 37 industrial standards to boost export trade.
The Director General of SON, Mr Malam Farouk Salim, disclosed this during a visit by the Governing body of SON to its facilities at Ogba, Lagos.
He explained that the 37 additional standards will enhance industrial growth in the country.
According to him, a situation where Nigerian products are not accepted abroad is due to failure to undergo standard procedures locally put in place, before such goods are exported to other countries.
He informed that the 37 standards approved were painstakingly developed following due process, as well as stakeholders inputs at all levels.
This, he said shows that the standards body is working tirelessly to make sure that locally made products meet the required standards within Nigeria and are also acceptable for export trade.
His assertions :
“The standards we put in place are strategic for AfCFTA. This is because when we establish our standards, we expect people who want our goods to look at the standards and know that the products approved are up to the required standards.
“Also, if exporters come through us and follow our standards, as well as the standards of the country where they are exporting goods to, they will not have problems”.
He revealed :
“In December, we are going to have another Council meeting, to approve more standards.
Some of the standards approved already have to do with hair. People in that line of business understand that there is standard for that kind of product.
“We also have standards for food. So, when exporters ship goods that have our stamp on them, the recipient country will know that the product meets such standards”.
Also speaking, the Chairman of SON Governing Council, Mrs Evelyn Ngige, said that three out of the 37 standards were reviewed; eight were newly developed and 26 had been adopted for existing international standards.
She stressed that 10 of the standards were developed for chemical technology, especially for plastic piping products, thermoplastic pipes and synthetic hair extension.
She pointed out :
“It is important to state that SON recently developed testing capacity at Ogba laboratory complex, for testing of plastics from raw materials to finished products.
The test will provide opportunities for manufacturers and dealers in plastic products to be competitive locally and take advantage of AfCFTA to improve the nation’s economy.
“The next 17 approved standards are in the mechanical sector and focused on agriculture, in order to support Federal Government’s economic diversification agenda, which include standards for irrigation and crop protection equipment.
“We also approved Nigerian Industrial Standards (NIS), for use in the food sector, liquor, spirits, primary production of milk, candies, fruit nectars, soya drinks and alcoholic bitters sectors.
Two new and unique standards have also been approved for masonry and carpentry services to meet the yearnings of Nigerians for quality in Nigeria’s building and construction sector”.