The Federal Ministry of State for Industry, Trade and Investment has advised Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in North Eastern Nigeria to leverage the recently commissioned laboratory of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria’s (SON’s) in Bauchi to test their products.
The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Aisha Abubakar, at the commissioning ceremony of the Laboratory complex in Bauchi, said that the new facility would enable MSMEs from the North East Zone standardise their products to attain high position in the ranking of MSMEs in the country.
Abubakar implored the Governor of Bauchi State to engage with SON for proper certification of its facilities as a way of assuring stakeholders that the laboratory is fit for purpose.
The Bauchi laboratory complex is not the only SON facility. According tto Abubakar, as part of a well-conceived plan, SON has completed and put into use, complexes of this nature in Akwa Ibom, Ekiti, the Federal Capital Territory and Kwara States while similar projects are ongoing in Kogi and Delta states.
The Minister added that the strategic decision to embark on these projects is to meet the testing needs of medium, small and micro enterprises across the country, emphasizing that the previous practice of shipping product samples to Lagos for testing was expensive and unsustainable especially for perishable items.
“Often, samples get destroyed before they reach the laboratories, when the intended tests were indeed not destructive tests,” Abubakar said.
She added that the complex would house laboratories mostly in food technology, saying that the move is understandable as the North East and in particular Bauchi State are strong in agriculture and livestock.
She said her Ministry is well aware that there is an abundant market for Nigeria’s products especially in markets with ethical consumers, saying that these markets include the Halal market which is estimated at $2.3 trillion.