Lagos — Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have been urged to patronise the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) in order to enjoy the 50 percent reduction on certification charges, laboratory testing and sales of standards.
In an interview with newsmen at the Lagos International Trade Fair at the Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos on Monday, the Director General of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mr Osita Aboloma, said all MSMEs will be given a SONCAP import permit at subsidised service charge for importation of raw materials and equipment.
Aboloma who was represented by Mrs Margaret Essiet at the fair, said the aim of the reduction is to ensure the MSMEs register their companies with the SON. He however noted that most business owners registered their companies after commencing production instead of before producing.
"We work with them based on the sector they belong to and make the standards available for each sector. We encourage SMEs to package appropriately whether for local consumption or export," Aboloma stated.
He noted that MSMEs that are into export need to be aware of the standards in the country they plan exporting to, adding that every country has a standard which must be met before a product from other countries can be accepted.
"There are over 250,000 standards globally. It is necessary to know their style of labelling and packaging a product with good quality. All these pave way for market access and whoever is exporting needs to take the standards of every country into cognizance," the DG said.
In order to avoid exported products from being rejected, he said transportation has an important role to play in quality maintenance of the products exported.
"Every product meant for export must be transported under appropriate packaging conditions and under the correct temperature and humidity so that the quality will not go bad.
"A fresh produce meant for transportation should be kept in a refrigerated condition. So that by the time it gets to its location, the quality will still be the same," he advised.