By Emmanuella Anokam
The Nigeria Entrepreneurs Forum (NEF), has urged the Federal Government to facilitate international certification of Nigerian agricultural commodities to enhance global market access.
Dr Sydney Inegbedion, President of the forum made the call in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Inegbedion noted that agricultural commodities of value abound in the country but lacked global market access due to certification challenges.
The forum president listed such agricultural commodities as Cassava, Cocoa, Sesame seed, Shea Butter and Soya Beans among others.
“There are international certification agencies, but Nigeria is not signatory to some of these international agencies.
“Some infrastructure are needed to be put in place to have these commodities certified so that they will be valued and patronised in the international arena.
“Once they are certified, they can enter into so many countries and become acceptable for trading,” he said.
This, he said would further stop the rejection of Nigerian agricultural products in the international market and boost exportation.
He said that recently, some Nigerian institutions such as NICERT Ltd. which have the capacity to carry out the process of certification came into operation in partnership with international certification agencies.
NICERT is a Nigerian conformity assessment and certification body which operates in technical partnership with ECOCERT Group, France to provide conformity assessment and certification services to agricultural products.
The trade and economic expert said that it was already working with the Federal Government on the certification matters, and called for concerted efforts to mitigate these challanges to enhance global market access.
NAN reports that some Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) operators had earlier expressed worry over the huge challenges they encounter abroad due to lack of product certification.
They had also appealed for government’s financial intervention to enable them acquire certification for global marketability.