Rejection of export produce: IPAN seeks adequate funding of analytic laboratories to end trend

By Alice Ekpan

THE Institute of Public Analysts of Nigeria, IPAN, has lamented the neglect of its laboratories by government, saying it was constrained to carry out indebt laboratory tests of most produce being expected to foreign nations.

The group which said the development was a major contributor to the high rate of rejection of most consumer goods from Nigerian’s extraction, appealed to the authorities to do the needful.

It also tasked Nigerians exporting produce to consider quality assurance, noting that the high rate at which goods from the country were being rejected by foreign nations was embarrassing.

IPAN Chairman of Council, Femi Oyediran, speaking in Abuja, during the group’s Mandatory training workshop for members, said his organisation’s smooth operation was being hindered by proper funding.

“We are facing a lot of challenges, especially proper funding. Funding of these laboratories is key. “

“Regretting that,”During the intervention fund from the government to most organisations in Nigeria, we never received any dime from the government, “he sàid:”And it is key that government supports us because if government supports these analytic laboratories as well as the medical laboratories, we will be able to safeguard the health of the people.”

Also speaking at the occasion, the Registrar of IPAN, Aliyu Angara, said IPAN, through its members had been at the forefront in laboratory testing of consumer and health related products for the socio-economic wellbeing of the nation.

Angara noted that the role of quality assurance of products to enhance industrial development trade competitiveness in global markets, food safety and health, environmental and climate change, among others, cannot be over-emphasised.

“It is disheartening to mention that most African countries till date have continued to incur huge financial losses from rejections of products billed for exports by the European countries, America and Asia. The essential reasons were attributed to non-compliance with international standard specifications.

“Our dear country Nigeria is not free from these embarrassing and monumental losses especially from her non-oil exports.”

According to him, “The role of the Public Analysts with regards to the AFCFTA cannot be over-emphasised in the crucial role of quality assurance of products.”

Angara, who noted that, “Recently, NAFDAC complained of the rejection of food and produce from Nigeria, from Europe and America and some other parts because diligence was not done on all these products before they leave”, appealed for a change of heart.

“There are standards and if you don’t meet it, it is either destroyed or sent back to your country and that is not good for trade, “he reminded.

On his part the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Public Sector Matters, Mr. Francis Anatogu, while noting that financially, the country can capture the African market, tasked it to “aim at building capacity to produce and export at least a billion-dollar of products and services on an annual basis.”

Anatogu,who expressed optimism that Nigeria had all it takes to capture African market, tasked the country to aim at building capacity to produce and export at least a billion-dollar of products and services on an annual basis.

“This will take time, but at least that is the ambition that we have set up and gradually we work with to realise it.

“Considering where we are today, that is the kind of ambition if we are going to move our economy more towards non-oil, “he said.

Anatogu who is also the Secretary of, National Action Committee on African Continental Free Trade Area (NAC-AfCFTA), noted that quality was key, hence, the need for IPAN as a regulatory body to do more in the area of capacity development.

“Quality is a key element of that market access. So we have identified a number of initiatives and programmes.

“There are a lot of projects already ongoing in the infrastructure space. There’s a lot ongoing in terms of access to finance by the Central Bank, BOI Development Bank and others. A lot has been has done by SMEDAN any piece in terms of the growing capacity of our people to export. Now, there’s also a lot ongoing at the state level in terms of building that production and service

capacity.

“We are now focusing on AFCFTA, prioritising some of these ongoing initiatives to make sure that we can immediately start to see the results.

“Two key areas that we have now started working in implementation space at AFC FTA are aggregating SMEs for export. The other one is an E-commerce initiative, which is about onboarding SMEs onto e-commerce platforms. So this is actually making their products visible, helping them to actually develop that capacity very quickly to export,” he said.

Stakeholders at the event agreed that to move Nigeria’s economy towards non-oil, the 36 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, must begin to build capacity for the production as well as exportation of products and services worth a billion-dollar annually.

According to them, Nigeria has every opportunity to capture 10 per cent of Africa’s market moving towards a non-oil economy. (Vanguard)

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