NIGERIA – The American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) has issued the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) with the Laboratory Accreditation certificate, to boost the body’s technical competence in the field of micronutrient testing.

In the past, efforts by the Federal Government to make export bound products from Nigeria acceptable have repeatedly failed due to complaints that are directly or remotely linked to quality, standard, certification and appropriate packaging.

From perishable consumable to finished products, exporters have faced rejection of their products in the International markets mostly because they fail to measure up with the standards set by the destination country’s regulatory authorities.

Sanitary and phytosanitary issues in foods have been major grounds for the rejection of Nigerian food Exports.

For the Director-General of SON, Mallam Farouk Salim, the event was symbolic of great achievement on the part of the present administration.

He has noted that the accreditation exhibits technical competence to perform tests on Food products including chemical /Micronutrients Testing which covers parameters such as Iodine in Iodized Salt, Vitamin A (Retinol) in Foods.

In addition to competencies of the newly accredited laboratories, SON’s Food Technology laboratories have competence in testing food samples in Physico-chemical parameters such a Moisture, Ash, Protein, Fat, Crude Fiber, Heavy Metals and microbiology parameters.

 Speaking on the relevance of the accreditation Salim said it ensures acceptance of test results within and beyond borders, greater control of laboratory processes, customer satisfaction based on the integrity of the results and brand value addition.

According to him, it is intended to also promote local content by offering subsidized and quality testing services to local manufacturers and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) , as well as facilitate income generation through maximization of costs for local manufacturers , who will not have to send products across borders for pre-shipment testing for goods meant for export.

 “Accreditation of our labs would facilitate global recognition thereby facilitating trade across the borders, enhancing and promoting the global competitiveness of made in Nigeria goods through quality testing services thereby reduce the Incidence of rejection of exported goods by offering quality testing services for farm produce that is meant for exports, “he said.

The director general has called upon all stakeholders to partner with the organization by patronizing all the accredited SON laboratories in the field of food testing and chemical testing.