The Director-General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Dr. Joseph Odumodu has sought the assistance of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in developing packaging expertise for the nation’s agricultural produce, even as he unfolded plans for a new export policy that would minimise the risk of rejection of Nigeria’s produce abroad.
Odumodu made the call during his recent meeting with the Managing Director, Programme Development and Technical Cooperation Division, UNIDO, Philippe Scholtes, in Abuja. He noted that developing expertise for packaging of the nation’s food produce would not only enhance their economic value, but also guarantee availability all-year-round.
According to him, “there is a lot UNIDO can do for the country in the area of agro-business and job creation. There is a lot you could do that is not currently being done, especially in the areas of food system and nutrition. One challenge we have in Nigeria is not in growing agricultural produce, but we need a lot of knowledge on how to package them so that they can last longer.”
The SON director general added: “Nigeria has a lot of tomatoes, mangos, but they are seasonal. Once the
seasons are over, the prices go up. We need to learn the technology on how to keep them. We like to request UNIDO to bring this kind of expertise.”
Odumodu used the occasion to announce plan for a new export policy that would minimise the risk of rejection of Nigeria’s produce abroad. He explained that the new export policy would to ensure that no produce leaves the shore of Nigeria without certification from the relevant agencies.
He, however, said that the focus of government in the next two years would be how to improve the nation’s investment climate and improve ease of doing business in the country.
He said for Nigeria’s economy to bounce back, strategies must be geared towards reviving the manufacturing sector as well as checking the influx of inferior goods into the country. “Nigeria has gone through a cynical system. There used to be flourishing industry. There were manufacturing activities in all aspects of our economy. But in the last 20 years, we saw a gradual decline in activities in the industry. Two major reasons are responsible for this. They are the business-unfriendly environment and the influx of inferior goods into the country,” he said.