It was made known that the Federal Government on Thursday lamented that within the last five years, over 103 Nigerian products, which were exported to other countries, have been 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 rate of rejected products exported from Nigeria was over 103, countries like South Africa and Ghana had just six and seven rejected products.
The minister, however, said with the reforms that had been carried out by the current administration within the last four years, Nigeria now had an internationally-accredited laboratory in Lagos, which would help to check the drift.
He explained that since the laboratory in Lagos meets international standard, any product tested there would be acceptable anywhere outside the country, thus saving the huge revenue being lost to manufacturers and countries wherever there was product reject.
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.
“We are having this rejects because we did not have accredited laboratory in the country. However, we can confidently say we have addressed that challenge now.
“About two days ago, I commissioned a new internationally accredited laboratory in Lagos. It is first time ever that we will be having such an accredited laboratory with such scope, twelve scopes.”