The federal government agencies and exporters have said that for Nigerian products to be accepted in the international market, manufacturers need to conform to global standards in production and packaging.
They made the assertions at a non-oil export dialogue organised by the Policy Development Facility Phase 2 in Lagos.
Federal government agencies including the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), stressed the need for potential manufacturers to seek adequate knowledge on the standard and specifications required at the international market
According to the coordinating director of NAQS, Dr. Vincent Iseghe, most countries spend more time inspecting Nigerian products imported because of the belief that the manufacturers didn’t conform to specifications.
Iseghe stated that Nigeria was on the high priority area of countries not conforming.
He charged manufacturers to self-regulate and do the right thing. “You should do what is right. It is good for you to have better access to the market. All we will do as regulatory agencies is to complement,” he said.
The representative of SON, Mrs. Mosun Salman, said product manufacturers would have easy access to the market if they complied with international standards. “There is no way you will have problem in selling your products abroad if you conform to international standard,” she said, adding that SON had strengthened its facilities to provide qualitative services to Nigerians exporting products abroad.
Technical assistant to the DG of NAFDAC, Mrs. Mide Onabanjo, tasked manufacturers to comply with global standards right from production level to ensure that products met the specifications required in the global market.
A policy and development analyst, Dr. Olu Alaba, in his keynote address explained that conforming to standard was key to market access, adding that the World Trade Organization (WTO) encourages the harmonisation of standards worldwide.
“Therefore, the standard in Nigeria must be comparable to the standard anywhere in the world. The principles must be the same. Conformity is key, you can’t compromise that. “Our level of conformity in Nigeria has improved greatly but there is so much to be done and this requires collaboration between the public and reputable private institutions,” he said.