Dr Joseph Odumodu
Dr Joseph Odumodu

Enugu – Exporters of Nigerian agricultural produce can now take advantage of the food laboratory established by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to certify their goods for international acceptance.
The Director-General of the organisation, Dr Joseph Odumodu, said at a management retreat in Enugu on Tuesday that produce tested and certified in the internationally-accredited laboratory would not be rejected at the international market.
Odumodu said the organisation would partner with states, local governments and farmers to ensure that produce like cocoa, timber, cassava, yam, beniseed, cashew, palm produce, rubber, groundnut and others enjoyed global reckoning.
He said that now was the best time to strengthen the agricultural and industrial sectors to boost non-oil exports and shore up the country’s foreign exchange in the face of dwindling oil fortunes.
“Again, we are already setting up an accreditation body Nigeria can call her own and which will in future administer globally valid certification and accreditation to Nigerian institutions,’’ he said.
The director-general said the work of the organisation would further be enhanced when the national quality policy which it initiated is approved.
“Aside laying the ground rules for the development of robust quality infrastructure, the policy will help reduce conflicts in technical regulation.
“Nigeria’s trade and industrial outlook is already looking brighter than ever. Cement and electrical cables are very good examples of made in Nigeria products that Nigerians have learnt to trust and buy,’’ he said.
Odumodu said the National Assembly was handling a bill which would strengthen the organisation, especially in the area of penalties for offenders.
He said the organisation faced more challenges with goods from outside the country than those manufactured within, explaining that less than 5 per cent of sub-standard products came from within.
Odumodu warned the staff of the organisation against unwholesome transactions with companies, importers, associations or individuals to subvert and circumvent its efforts.
Also speaking, a council member of SON, Dr Ifeanyi Okoye, called on the staff members to show commitment to their work for the organisation to excel.
A participant at the annual workshop, Mrs. Margaret Eshiet, said it had become cultural for management staff of the organisation and that it had impacted positively on their work.
Eshiet, who heads the food department, said the organisation and NAFDAC worked together to protect Nigerians from unwholesome food products.
The retreat is scheduled to end on Friday.