…As Nigeria accounts only 0.33% in world trade, 19% in Africa trade
Ben Eguzozie, in Port Harcourt
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The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), an agency for the promotion, development and diversification of exports from Nigeria, has asked producers and manufacturers of exportable products in the country to integrate mandatory and non-mandatory certification as an edge to penetrate the global export market.
The call comes on the heels of woeful performance by Nigerian export companies at the global scene, accounting for a paltry 0.33 per cent of the global trade, and 19 per cent of African trade.
A recent remark by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, first female and African director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to the Nigerian presidency, ministry of industry, trade and investment, and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) opened unpleasant miserable statistics about Nigeria’s status in manufacturing value-added (MVA).
For example, Nigeria currently ranks 103 out of 167 counties in terms of logistics. Also, the country’s 100 per cent export of crude oil, without value-addition in terms of refining costs billions of dollars in lost export revenues.
Olusegun Awolowo, the executive director and chief executive officer of NEPC, said in Enugu, of the importance of non-mandatory certification due to the new-normal, while addressing producers and manufacturers of exportable products in the South-East region at an awareness training program on inclusion of non-mandatory certification.
The training is part of NEPC’s “go global, go for certification” campaign, aimed at enhancing global market access for Nigerian products.
The NEPC chief executive said that penetrating the international markets for processed and value-added products, particularly food items require additional certification to enable the products access competitive overseas markets.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated tougher inspection regimes at border control points in importing countries. This places export companies to undergo stricter measures to access the global market.
“These stricter and increasingly competitive requirements imply therefore, that exportable food items must strive to require additional non-mandatory certification. The ISO, HACCP, GMP are global certifications trusted by consumers and end-users of products and services; and are attained based on the reputation of the certifying bodies,” the NEPC boss said.
He said, to ensure the success of the initiative, NEPC engaged a reputable certification expert, Topcertifier, based in India, to provide certification awareness training to manufacturers and producers in Nigeria. He added that the outfit guides companies and organizations’ certification for ISO and other international certifications; and have successfully executed over 3,000 projects across 20 counties.
Awolowo said Topcertifer as resources faculty had conducted the HACCP and other certification awareness training workshops in Lagos, Owerri, Kano and Port Harcourt with impactful success.
The NEPC executive director and chief executive said, in recognition of the relevance of these global certifications and further the “go global, go certification” campaign, NEPC seeks to further encourage Nigerian exporting companies to strive and implement full certification through a conformity assessment body, geared to ease global market entry for their products, to boost Nigeria’s non-oil export portfolio.
Frontpage September 27, 2018