NIGERIA – In a bid to ensure that Nigerian products are globally competitive, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has pledged to carry out the certification of products of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) for free.

The Director General of SON, Dr. Joseph Odumodu, made this pledge in Lagos yesterday while addressing a World Press Conference on the State of Standards in Nigeria.

In his address themed: ‘Made in Nigeria for the world – a transformational imperative,’ he lamented that despite that there are well over 20,000 registered SMEs in the country, most products in the country cannot compete favourably in the global market due to non-conformity to standards.

He also lamented that most small scale enterprises have refused to be certified considering the cost but said the organization would carry out the certification process free of charge henceforth.

This, he said would enable operators in the sector to be a player in the global market.

He said for Nigeria to attain its vision 20: 2020 ambition of becoming one of the twenty most developed economy in the world, its products, where it has comparative and competitive advantage must be able to compete favourable at the world stage, noting that the future of Nigerian trade lies in the hands of indigenous Nigerian firms.

He said, two of SON’s laboratories in Lekki, Lagos, have been accredited by the United States authority while the construction of SON’s state of the art laboratory in Ogba area of Lagos is near-completion.

He said additional fifteen laboratories would be constructed across the country to ensure that products are duly tested and certified to meet international standards and to ensure safety of lives of Nigerians.

He, said the organization in collaboration with the Consumer Protection Council would early next year push for a bill that will ensure that manufacturers obtain product liability insurance for any product they introduce to the market.

This, he said would ensure that insurance companies would be responsible to compensate consumers on products that are injurious to health.

November 2, 2014;