Poor quality control has been identified as a major challenge militating against the acceptance of locally-mined products among the global mining world. Ruth Tene Natsa writes on Some of the efforts being put in place to ensure that Nigerian products meet International standards.
Stakeholders in the minerals and mining sector have often bemoaned the rejection of their locally mined products even when they think their products are of high and exceptional quality. Poor quality control, poor regulations and the high rate of illegal/informal mining activities in the sector are critical to the rejection of locally mined products on the international market.
To Mitigate this, the federal government through the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has maintained that to achieve this objective, professionals must comply with the provisions of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act,2007, Nigerian Minerals and Mining Regulations 2011 and the Explosives Act of 1964 and the Explosives Regulation 1967 among others.
Another major effort of the federal government towards curtailing this challenge are the efforts being implemented by the Cargo Defence Fund, which has proposed measures to reduce rejection of Nigerian Solid minerals in the international markets through proper certification.
This was revealed by chairman of the fund, Senator Cosmas Niagwan represented by the executive secretary of the fund, Mrs Azuka Ogo, at a one- day workshop, tagged:“NGSA Laboratories Kaduna, Services, Certification and Relevance to the Mining Industry in Kaduna early in the year.
“The Cargo Defence Fund was established by the federal government to assist Nigerian companies/operators in the pursuit of their claims recoveries and legal remedies in export/import matters. She disclosed that the fund has handled over 500 complaints relating to short handling of cargoes, non delivery, fraud, theft and illegal charges among others.
“From the nature of problems faced by Nigerian importers/exporters the committee in a bid to ensure the protection of operators had recommended proper certification of solid minerals for export,” said Ogo.
According to Ogo, the arrangement of export insurance for Nigeria solid minerals in export trade amounts to taking steps to redress and ensure problems associated with exports of solid minerals were not repeated as well as synergise with other agencies to ensure policies were favorable to the importers/exporters.
She added that “as a way to ensure the protection of operators, the Fund had categorised challenges of operators into contracts, banking and insurance and has partnered with various trade groups towards adopting International best practices in order to trade successfully.”
Also in the vanguard for quality product in Nigeria is the EU’s 12million Euro to support the development of national quality policy.
This was revealed by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) Representative to ECOWAS and Nigeria, Dr Patrick Kormawa, who said the 12 million Euro European Union(EU) grant was to support the development of quality control while supporting the trade of made -in- Nigeria products.
The representative, who spoke in an exclusive interview with Leadership said, “The European Union had also made available a grant of 12m Euro to support the development of National Quality Infrastructure comprising various policies and institutions that promote trade of made- in- Nigeria products.”
He noted that, “One output that had been gotten from the grant is that Nigeria will be able to promulgate a national policy on quality, currently there is no national quality policy and work is currently ongoing on that.
“We will also create the National Accreditation Board,the apex organisation that certifies institutions dealing with quality,because once a board certifies a quality or product,that product becomes acceptable internationally,” Kormawa said.
He noted that “currently most Nigerian products are rejected on the international market and that is a lot of cost to the exporter.”
He further noted that “the 5th function of the fund will be to support the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) and other consumer organisations to help consumers demand for products that were of quality.
Culled from: http://leadership.ng/business/mines-and-steel/391919/mining-poor-standards-hamper-nigerian-products-international-market