The governor of Benue, Dr Sam Ortom has expressed his state government’s commitment to partner with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), to ensure agriculture products from the state are certified for export.
The governor made this intention known in the course of
standardization campaign held in Makurdi on Tuesday.
He said certification of agricultural produce would boost their export value and also help checkmating the rejection of Nigerian export produces in the international market.
Ortom said the state was blessed with abundant natural
resources that could serve as back bone for the industries
and for export
According to him, the state was ready to partner with
relevant agencies of the federal government especially the
SON towards improved value addition, wealth creation and jobs for Nigerians.
He also applauded the current SON leadership for embarking on a noble initiative of building the capacity of operator of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), describing it as step in the right direction given that MSMEs are the engine of growth of any economy.
He equally urged other states of the federation as well as
the federal government to key in to the standardization
campaign of the SON to help achieve economic
In his response, the Acting Director-General of SON, Dr Paul Angya said the essence of the visit which began with
Nasarawa was to sensitise the MSME operators on the
importance and benefits of deploying standards in their
production and businesses.
He said the choice of Benue state as one of the states to be
visited was based on its proficiency in agriculture
Angya said the programme also seeks to create opportunities for interaction with the state government to solicit the necessary support in the drive for standardization of MSMEs production and business processes in the state.
“Our aim is to establish a culture of self-regulation
through voluntary participation in standardization which
would enable the MSMEs to imbibe the standardization and quality assurance procedures in their businesses on their own volition”.
The Acting DG said part of the strategic plans of the SON is to partner with state governments to ensure that agricultural products are certified for export.
He said to achieve such an initiative; codes of practice
have been developed in collaboration with the EU. This
development will boost trade, as Nigerian products were
facing rejection high levies and low pricing due to lack of
awareness on available certification.
“I wish to reassure you that any product certified by SON
will be accepted globally. I am all out to partner with all
state governments in the training of MSMEs. Farmers,
processors, millers etc. on how to achieve global best
practices”, he said.