The Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), has charged manufacturers and importers of goods to adhere to requisite standards because Nigerians are not substandard people.
Mr Tersoo Oringudwen, Director, Product Certification Department of SON, said this on Wednesday in Calabar at a one-day sensitisation by SON in conjunction with COTECNA
The theme of the exercise was “SONCAP- facilitating quality imports into Nigeria for economic development”.
COTECNA is an international organisation founded in 1974 with branches in Nigeria that partner with SON in testing, inspection and certification of import and export.
Oringudwen said there was nothing produced in Nigeria that would not meet international standards, if Nigerians wanted to produce them.
According to him, all Nigerian manufacturers need is sincerity of purpose and to work with SON to ensure standardisation through the Conformity Assessment Programme (CAP), even in the area of imports.
“We don’t want Nigerians to bring goods into the country only to be seized and in the past burn them, because the businessman loses money and in the course of burning the goods, the toxic effect on the environment is heavy.
“Nigerians must stop the idea of shortcuts in manufacturing, imports and exports and work with SON because the money paid under the table can even be more than doing the right thing.
“We can empower the naira, if we make ourselves great by doing the right thing like ensuring that made-in-Nigeria goods are produced with standards in mind that it meets international requirements for export,” he said.
The director also said for dollars to be available in Nigeria, Nigerians needed to produce and export because when exports bring in dollars into the country, following its availability, it would take less naira to buy the dollar.
He admonished Nigerians seeking to export their goods to other nations to first of all find out the requirements of the export market and if they are not sure, they shouldvwork with SON and COTECNA.
Also, Mrs Abigail Orok, Commissioner for Commerce in Cross River, said Nigeria, as a nation, had in the past, placed too much emphasis on importation and needed to start looking at enhancing export.
Orok said the focus of the government of Cross River was to see the possibility of practically exporting the states agro products to other nations with SON as a key partner
“We are done with theories. We need to start looking at how to package our producers in clusters and see what SON and other agencies can do to help us move their goods out of Nigeria.
“By the time we start sending certified products out of this country, Nigeria will be looked upon in good light and we will drive foreign exchange down to Nigeria.”
Similarly, Mr Chijioke Emena, Secretary of Calabar Traders Association, in an interview with NAN, said beyond sensitisation, SON needed to sit with Nigerian importers and discuss how to make the process of certification practically less cumbersome.