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FAAN Aviacargo Roadmap Committee resolute in achieving mandate, tour SON labs in Lagos

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Members of the FAAN Aviacargo Roadmap Committee in a group photograph with Directors and staff of SON during a visit/tour of the SON facilities/laboratories, Ogba, Lagos.

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN Aviacargo Roadmap Committee, has achieved another feat in its mandate to ensure Nigeria produce for export meet standards and certification from the appropriate agencies and authorities in the export eco-system.

This feat is the recent visit and tour of the Standards Organization of Nigeria, SON, laboratories, the agency responsible for ensuring the quality, safety, and standardization of products and services in Nigeria to solicit their partnership in fulfilling its mandate.

Members of the Committee led by the Managing Director, FAAN, Kabir Mohammed who was a former Director in SON, were surprised at the multi-million facilities in the various laboratories for testing of different products.

The labs toured include, electronics, lubricant, micronutrients, paints, Lighting testing, cement, cable testing, Generator, Refrigerator, meter, Battery Crude fiber/ash and moisture, cosmetics, polymer, water additives and non alcohol, agrochemical amongst others.

At the end of the tour of the different laboratories, the coordinator of the Committee, Mr. Ikechi Uko said, the purpose of the visit is to ensure that, export goods from Nigeria are not rejected due to non-certification and poor packaging.

He explained to his host that, the committee’s terms of reference is to amongst others, articulate action plans that meet international best practice and assign timelines for facilitation of cargo processing at our airports. 

While also to articulate guidelines that meet international best practice for Public-Private Partnership in developing modern cargo infrastructures and facilities for optimum air-cargo facilitation.

He expressed optimism that with the steps taken thus far in partnership with the relevant agencies in the export business, the issue of rejection would be a thing of the past and increased volume of export would be achieved.

“In the course of our study we found out that we are the number producers of many things in Africa and at least number one in ten products and in the top ten in 23 products and so why are we not able to export? We found out that our goods are being rejected, they are being rejected because it does not meet specifications of the destination, why is that so, most if them do not have certification from Nigeria, so it is impossible to grow our aviacargo without stopping the rejection of our products, how do we stop this rejection? We have to make sure that they meet the standards”.

“To stop that problem, the needed to make sure our products are tested here, they meet global certification before they go out, that is what led us to the understanding that we need labs that can help the process without a lab that product is likely to get rejected. Our desire is to make this laboratories our intrinsic part of our export process, we do not export anything that does not have certification”.

He added, “So we decided to visit labs to know if there are actually labs that can do this so called certification”.

Ikechi emphasized that, with the requisite equipment for testing all products domiciled in the SON and the requisite manpower, the committee would need to propagate the activities and credibility of SON. 

The Director, Training Services, SON, Engr. Timothy Abner assured that, test results issued from the SON laboratories are accepted globally, assuring that, the accreditation of their laboratories is an attestation that they have the competence.

“The results issued here from the laboratories is adjudged as acceptable globally so, any where you take it once they see the seal that yes it is an accredited laboratory they will accept it unlike off course prior to now when we didn’t have the accreditation”. 

“Our primary duty is first to protect Nigerians before any other thing, profit should be by the way. As a matter of fact, we’ve enjoyed the support of government for quite some time but internal initiative and doggedness has brought us to where we are today”, he added.

Also adding his voice to SON’s ability to ensure the certification of products, Director, Laboratory Services, Mr. Richard Adewunmi, said, when people want to commit deliberate suicide, SON would do everything possible through standardization to make it difficult for them.

“It is through standardization we know your child cannot put his hands into the socket, this is one of the great work the SON has done over the years and beyond that, we are not just producing standards for products we also have services, here we have a training facility, this facility is internationally accredited, for instance, there’s a standard required for training and it is the same globally but we need more partnership with other countries to enhance the marketability of our certified products”.

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