Nigerian manufacturers should adhere to product standardisation to enable them market their products in foreign markets.
Former director general, Standards Organisation of Nigeria, Prof. John Akanya said food and consumer products made in Nigeria can only compete globally if they meet minimum quality standards through adherence to best international practice and standardisation.
Prof. Akanya identified 10 criteria in the production, packaging and marketing of quality products and warned that cutting corners is a disincentive to productivity, profitability and global acceptance.
He spoke at the 2016 African Product Forum and Awards organised by the Institute for Government Research Leadership Technology in Lagos.
No fewer than 17 companies operating in Nigeria and Ghana were given continental recognition for product quality and acceptability.
Stine Rice Industries, Nnewi, was adjudged the best locally produced rice with its 440 tons per day rice milling capacity.
Chairman of Stine Industries, Chief Akai Egwuonwu dedicated the award to the company’s staff and the Anambra State Government for its patronage and support. He promised that the company will abide with international standards to ensure high quality products.
On local self-sufficiency in rice production, Chief Akai said it will take a little more time to attain such feat. “We are still a bit far from achieving that feat. Hopefully in the next one or two years, we can meet up. At the moment, Nigerian rice millers produce about 800,000 metric tons out of about 4 million metric tons needed for consumption in Nigeria.
“That means if we have about 24 standard rice mills in Nigeria, we would meet the demand. At the moment, 18 rice mills have integrated facilities like parboiling and trying session while some are still under construction,” he explained.
Earlier, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode decried the dumping of substandard foreign products on Nigeria at the detriment of home made products.
“We have all it takes in terms of national endowment and human capacity to grow our economy on a sustainable basis. What needs to be done is to forge a strong partnership between the public and private sectors.
Government must however provide leadership through the design and implementation of policies that are consistent with the expectation of the business community,” the governor said.
In a speech delivered on his behalf by Mr. Folarin Adeyemi, the governor said the harsh realities of the volatile crude oil international market has “negated our economic projections and traumatized the people through job losses and looming poverty. The time to promote local products and agricultural enterprise that can be sourced with raw materials available is now.”
Chairman of the Institute, Mrs. Priscilla Kuye said the African Product Forum has become a veritable scheme for inspiring organizations that are making world class products to become greater achievers by identifying and projecting their activities for others to emulate.
“The efforts and activities of African entrepreneurs are increasing Africa’s Gross Domestic Product and creating skills and employment for the youths and unemployed.
Government should contribute their quota by creating an enabling environment for industries and entrepreneurs to thrive and expand. Government should also make the process of establishing businesses easy so as to entice Foreign Direct Investments and also encourage more African’s to get into manufacturing,” she said.
Mrs. Kuye advised African entrepreneurs to make research and development the cornerstone of their product conception, development and production. She also advocated closer collaboration to restore prosperity and exploit opportunities.
“African entrepreneurs must work together to confront the common threat of the 21st century-terrorism and climate change; create employment for the unemployed; make Africans less dependent on other continents by producing more products that can cure terminal diseases; manufacture products that will clean up the environment. All of these are ways we can confront poverty,” she argued.

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