Director-General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria SON, Dr. Joseph Odumodu, has urged prospective exporters to ensure that their agricultural products undergo testing and satisfy at its laboratories before exportation abroad to avoid embarrassment to the nation.
Odumodu who gave the charge recently in Abuja noted that, several containers of beans that were exported to Thailand was returned as a result of a harmful substances discovered, noting that this will affect the image of Nigeria negatively.
According to him, “recently, a Nigerian imported some beans to Thailand and several containers were returned to Nigeria because it contains contaminated substance that is harmful for human consumption and this is because the beans were not satisfied by SON”.
In his word, “any product tested and certified in the laboratories would not be rejected abroad. Anybody Nigerian farmer that want to export must come to us to obtain attestation, this is a system where the authorities that are in charge of standard in can verify and satisfy a product that such a product is safe for consumption”.
For example, when we have satisfied a product using our lab, you can take it to any laboratory in world, result will be the same.
He said the organisation has is a new lab in Lagos that is specialised in testing agricultural products and anywhere in the world that the result is taken to, it must come out the same.
He said that the accredited laboratories would serve to boost the nation’s diversification and export promotion drive.
“Nigeria has accredited labs, which means that any product that is tested and certified in the labs needs not be tested anywhere else in the world.
‘`I call on all the producers and exporters of agricultural products to approach the SON’s laboratories so that the country’s agricultural products will meet global standard and competitiveness.
“The test is almost free so that when people send out products abroad, the products will be fully accepted because right now, rejection is huge and we don’t deserve it.
“There is no other agency or any lab that has that level of scope for agricultural products; we test things as complex as metal in food and fungal contamination,’’ he said.
He said that currently, while exporters paid as much as 10 per cent of the total value of their exports, they would only have to pay less than one per cent in the SON’s laboratories.
The director urged the small and medium enterprises to take advantage of the laboratories to push their products to the world.
Odumodu also expressed concern at the practice of some exporters who added more chemicals than required to preserve their products.
“Some people, in trying to preserve food products sent aboard, add chemicals that are beyond the level required in those economic communities,’’ he said.
Odumodu said Nigeria could achieve 100 per cent acceptance or 0 per cent rejection through the collaboration of all the relevant agencies.
AIB begins investigation of wing-tip brush by two Arik aircraft
Accident Investigation Bureau AIB, said it had begun investigation of Tuesday’s wing-tip brush by two Boeing 737-800NG belonging to Arik Air at the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos.
The AIB’s spokesperson, Mr Tunji Oketunbi disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria NAN, on Wednesday in Lagos.
“Immediately the incident occurred, we deployed our investigators to the scene but I don’t have the outcome of their investigation yet,” Oketunbi said.
Mr Sam Adurogboye, the Acting General Manager, Public Relations, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, also confirmed that Arik Air had filed the Mandatory Occurrence Report MOR, with the NCAA.
Adurogboye noted that the wing-tip brush by the aircraft was a minor incident, adding that the NCAA would however carry out investigations to unravel its cause and prevent future occurrence.
He said:”Once you have operations, there are bound to be incidents. It is not a serious issue. One aircraft parked, the other was trying to go out and their wings touched.
“Naturally, they are expected to stop the operation, check the planes before returning it to service. But we will do what we are expected to do by going there to inspect and re-certify the aircraft.”
NAN reports that Arik Air, had confirmed the incident in a statement issued on Tuesday by its Communications Manager, Mr Ola Adebanji.
“Two of our aircraft, Boeing 737-800NG were this afternoon involved in a wing-tip brush at the General Aviation Terminal GAT, of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, and Lagos.
“One of the aircraft, 5N-MJP was marshalled out of the ramp for a scheduled flight when its wing brushed that of another aircraft, 5N-MJQ parked on the ramp.
“There were no incidences as the safety of passengers was not jeopardised. We have grounded the two aircraft and are looking into the incident,” the statement had said.