The Federal Government on Thursday lamented that within the last five years, over 103 Nigerian products exported to other countries were rejected for not meeting acceptable international quality standards. The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, stated this in Abuja while unveiling the new office complex of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria. Aganga said the high volume of rejected products was not acceptable.
He attributed the development to lack of accredited laboratories in the country where the products could be tested before being shipped abroad.
For instance, he said while the rejected products exported from Nigeria were over 103, countries like South Africa and Ghana had just six and seven rejected products.
The minister, however, said that with the reforms that had been carried out by the current administration within the last four years, Nigeria now has an internationally accredited laboratory in Lagos which would help to check the drift.
He explained that since the laboratory in Lagos met international standard, any product tested there would be acceptable anywhere outside the country, thus saving the huge revenue being lost by manufacturers and the country.
He said, “We all say we want to diversify the economy with a view to increasing our income from non-oil products. But there is no way we can achieve this without having quality infrastructure such as the laboratory.
“For instance, we could not export yam to the United Kingdom because we do not have a laboratory to test it here. Those who export products in Nigeria take them to Ghana to test them and the credit goes to Ghana.
“In the last five years, Nigeria has more than 103 rejects. If you compare that to other African countries like South African and Ghana, who only have between six to seven rejects, our is unacceptable