SON UNVEILS LATEST LABORATORY ACCREDITATIONS FOR GLOBAL RECOGNITION OF NIGERIAN PRODUCTS

Mallam Farouk Salim (Standing) presenting his keynote address flanked by Director, Laboratory Services, Mrs. Mojisola Kehinde (In Blue Shirt) and Mrs. Chinyere Egwuonwu, Director, Standards Development as well as invited Stakeholders and Partners

 

Mallam Salim commenting on the unveiled accreditation Certificates. To his left are Mrs. Mojisola Kehinde, Director Laboratory Services; Mrs. Chinyere Egwuonwu, Director, Standards Development; Representative of FIIRO, Dr. Adebukola Huthman; Mrs. Talatu Ethan, Deputy Director, Mico Nutrient Laboratory and Engr. Alewu Achema, Assistant Director/Group Head, Electrical Laboratory.

Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) management is committed to achieving a fully built up and accredited Laboratory Complex at Ogba in Lagos State to test virtually all locally manufactured and imported products into the Country.

The Director General, Mallam Farouk Salim disclosed this in Lagos while delivering a keynote address at the unveiling of certificates for three newly internationally accredited Laboratories for the organisation for testing Paints, Electrical Cable and Food (Micronutrients) products.

Mallam Salim reiterated that the accreditation will bolster the Nation’s manufacturing industry with its newly acquired competences, as well as significantly increase the level of export of locally made goods to the international market in view of the ongoing implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement.

According to him, the newly accredited laboratories and others before them would encourage Nigerian manufacturers to produce more, given that products tested and certified in the laboratory would receive global acceptance.

“What it means for our market is that local manufacturers who erstwhile had their products rejected over doubts of quality no longer have that challenge as the destination markets would readily accept results from our internationally accredited Laboratories and increase the level of confidence of both local and foreign consumers on made-in-Nigeria goods”, he said.

The DG also stated that activities of the accredited Laboratories would save the Nation scarce foreign exchange hitherto expended in carrying out tests for products abroad within the scope of the Laboratories capability.

Mallam Salim disclosed that plans are under way to establish more laboratories across the country to ensure easier access to the testing facilities.

He enjoined stakeholders to support SON in its quest to build more world class laboratories under corporate social responsibility initiatives in the overall interest of the Nigerian economy and the welfare of its people.

Welcoming Stakeholders and invited guests to the unveiling ceremony earlier, the Director Laboratory Services, Mrs. Mojisola Kehinde, revealed that the accreditation was a culmination of a journey which began in 2009 with SON Food laboratories receiving accreditation in the areas of biological and chemical testing in 2014 from the American Association for  Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA), which scope had since been expanded continually.

According to her, the recent accreditation in the fields of Electrical, Micronutrients and Paints products testing would enhance the global recognition of SON Laboratory tests on Nigerian goods and facilitate greater acceptance of our products locally and in the foreign markets.

Mrs Kehinde assured the audience that activities carried out in the SON Testing Laboratories are in conformity to the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025:2017 – General requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories.

Delivering a goodwill message on behalf of the Director General, Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), Dr. Adebukola Huthman a Deputy Director commended SON for unveiling the accredited laboratories, stating that getting international accreditation for Laboratories is not an easy feat especially in a country like Nigeria.

“I know what you had to go through to achieve this, to meet the tough requirements means that SON has done lots of work and it also shows that the results have a lot of integrity and high confidence” she said.

“An accredited laboratory means that Nigeria has the same standards with other countries in the world. SON’s laboratories are among the very few accredited laboratories in Nigeria,” she added.

The Head, Planning, Research and Statistics of the Institute of Public Analysts of Nigeria (IPAN), Mr. Emmanuel Odega, said to have three laboratories accredited at the same time is not an easy achievement, stressing that SON and IPAN have come a very long way especially in development and implementation of standards.

“The entire Nigeria is proud of what you are doing. Accreditation assures that your goods carry the same quality with any other country in the world and that is a boost to the economy, it will help to earn foreign exchange for the country because some of the products currently being taken outside the shores of the country for testing will be stopped,” he added.

On his part, the Executive Secretary, Paints Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMAN), Mr. Jude Maduka, said the accreditation would ensure that made-in-Nigeria goods compete favourably in the AfCFTA, stressing that the laboratories would strengthen SON’s testing capabilities.

Other critical Stakeholders present at the Certificate unveiling ceremony include representatives of Cable Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (CAMAN) and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN).

Elated Staff of the newly accredited SON laboratories in a group Photograph with the Director General and other Management Staff of SON


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