The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has issued a strong warning to individuals and organisations who are fond of misrepresenting government regulatory institutions through false and mendacious information to the public.
The Director General, Osita Aboloma, on Monday in Abuja, while referring to a recent publication which quoted one Ms. Annabel Kamuche of NIcert Limited as stating that “SON, the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Nigerian Agricultural and Plant Quarantine Services are not accredited to undertake conformity assessment of Nigerian products for export”.
Aboloma stated that the SON mandate to undertake conformity assessment of products for import into and export out of Nigeria is backed by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria Act No 14 of 2015.
According to him, such misleading representation by Ms. Kamuche is a deliberate and calculated attempt to market the services of her company by maligning institutions she considers as her company’s competitors.
He added that the misleading statements are libellous to the reputation of the regulatory authorities cited by her, stating that appropriate action would be taken against her and her company.
The SON DG stated that the unfounded claim by the MD of NIcert Limited that “Regulatory agencies set up more hurdles for Nigerian exporters who have met the standards of the target market” is most unpatriotic and a blatant misrepresentation of the true situation.
The SON statement clarified that one of the most important aspects of conformity assessment of agricultural and allied products and indeed any other product for export is the international accreditation of the testing facilities, to assure the acceptance of the test results globally.
“SON Laboratories have since 2015, attained international accreditation to the ISO 17025 Standard and maintained the status with increasing scope of testing capabilities on a continual basis”, according to the SON Chief Executive.
The SON Laboratories thus have the capacities for certification of Nigeria’s agricultural and allied products for export to all parts of the world in view of the International recognition of its accreditation, he stressed.
The statement pointed at the contradictions in the publication attributed to Ms. Kamuche in acknowledging the importance of the regulatory agencies in international trade and “developing a local culture amongst Nigerian producers in accordance with internationally recognized standards whether they are producing for export or the local market”.
Aboloma reiterated that SON remains the Nigerian representative in the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), the apex standardisation institution in Nigeria and the custodian of all national, regional, continental and international standards for use in Nigeria for local trade and commerce as well as for exports.