NIGERIA – Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), has installed products quality testing equipment at the Bauchi Zonal Laboratory complex to boost the testing capacity of products in the North.
The Director of Laboratory Services, Dr Barth Okoko, during the installation of the equipment, demonstration and training of staff in Bauchi, remarked that the installation of the equipment was the first of its kind in the North since inception, and most of the agricultural products were from the North.
He said the equipment would be used for testing of products to certify that they are of good quality.
“The lack of testing caused a lot of losses mainly to the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) that often get their products rejected in failing to meet an acceptable standard,”
According to Okoko, laboratories are said to be the bedrock of any establishment that is quality conscious because it is through testing that a product can be confirmed to be of quality or not.
He emphasized that certification of products with the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) mark qualifies quality requirements of a product.
He counselled stakeholders, particularly farmers, to take advantage of the equipment by bringing their products for test.
Earlier, Alhaji Adamu Abba, the SON Regional Coordinator, said the laboratory and the equipment would serve the North East Zone and the entire North respectively.
He noted that products from the North were hitherto sent to Lagos for testing, affecting their certification, adding that with the equipment, however, products would easily be tested and certified before going to markets.
As reported by The Guardian Nigeria News, he encouraged MSMEs to improve their products through the testing process.
Substandard e-commerce products
In other news, SON is joining hands with online vendors to monitor the sale of sub-standard foreign manufactured products in Nigeria.
The Head of Department, Consumer Complaint of SON, Mrs. Mosunmola Samuel, highlighted that the sophisticated and dynamic nature of e-commerce has made it difficult to track substandard goods, since most of the dealers do not have warehouses or fixed addresses.
However, she pointed out that SON’s partnership with the online traders would help to track down dealers who would want to abuse online platforms as channels for the sale of substandard wares.
She also urged consumers to be vigilant in reporting to SON any delivery of sub-standard products through online platforms.
“Most of these online dealers import their products as personal effects. The e-commerce in the Nigerian community is becoming huge and many steps have been taken for its promotion, but there are still lots to be done to make it operate in accordance with standards in the country. This is why we are working assiduously on partnering with online merchants to ensure that Nigeria is not a destination for substandard goods.”
She urged online merchants to strictly adhere to quality products and services to achieve inclusive growth citing that the organization is working tirelessly to educate Nigerians so as to be abreast with the global trend.
SON handles consumer complaints through its customer feedback desks which are in all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).