May 22, 2023

Why Nigeria products face rejection in global market — Ella

NEMA distributes beans, rice, oil, salt others to Borno IDPs

By Boluwaji Obahopo, LOKOJA

Made-in-Nigeria products will continue to face rejection at the international market unless the issue of proper measurements is put in place, an expert in the field of exporting, Dr Ella Adams Akpoga has stated.

Dr. Ella who is the coordinator, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment made this known in Lokoja on Saturday on the sideline of the 2023 annual Metrology Day.

Ella said the country’s quest of generating more income from exporting Nigerian products will continue to be a mirage until the issue of proper weight measurement is adhered to strictly.

He said Nigerian farmers and other producers of goods and services will continue to be shortchanged as a result of not being able to measure their products in the proper way.

According to him, “In the Nigerian context of measurement supporting global food system, we are bedevilled by very serious challenges in the last ten years as some of Nigeria products are rejected in the global market because of packaging; till now we cannot export beans to Europe.

“One of the main reasons why Nigerian products, yams, beans, livestock, are been rejected in Europe and America is because Nigeria lacks an internationally recognized National quality infrastructure (NQI) with the capacity to ensure safety, integrity and marketability of goods and services which reduces technical barriers to trade in local, regional and international markets.

“National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) is the institutional framework that establishes and implements standardization, including conformity assessment services, metrology, and accreditation.

“However, these issues can be tackled if farmers and other producers embraced the use of accepted weights and measures for farm produce.

All the critical agencies must interface regularly in order to tackle all challenges in the export sectors or reduce it to the barest minimum.

“For instance, yams and beans were rejected because of the use of pesticides and inorganic fertilizer. This falls under the purview of the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) as a phytosanitary condition which they are to enlighten the farmers on the use of organic fertilizer and pesticides in line with the requirement from Europe and America before export.

“In Kogi State, there is United Fertilizer company that produces organic fertilizer which has been proven to solve these kinds of problems when used.”

“Rejected products arising from problems of underweights, packaging, incorrect labelling and Technical Barrier to Trade(TBT), can easily be solved by embracing accepted schedule Eight of the Weights and Measures Act. These simple procedures can be maintained throughout the food system.”

Ella urged producers in Kogi State and the country at large to visit Weights and Measures office in their states for verification and certification of weighing and measuring equipment in order to enhance their products in the global markets.

The theme of the 2023 Metrology Day is: s “Measurements supporting the global food system”.