The Director General of Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Dr Husaini Ibrahim has stated that the readiness the council is working toward developing the capacity of indigenous producers of raw materials. Ibrahim who said this when he spoke with some Journalists in Abuja said that such a measure had become necessary to meet industrial quality specifications. He said most of the raw materials and products by Nigerians had been rejected in international markets due to poor standard.
“We cannot sit and keep watching instances where some multinational companies would discriminate and refuse to accept the use of our local raw materials under the guise that they were sub-standard. “We have good materials that had been accepted as the best globally and we want to get to the stage where most of our indigenous products become the best in the world with specific gravity as high qualities. “The RMRDC, in collaboration with other African countries, is in the process of setting up a raw materials testing laboratory.
“The laboratory will be utilized to carry out conformity assessment test, to set quality standards and industrial specifications for raw materials to be ascertained,’’ Ibrahim said. Head, National Quality Infrastructure, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), M.r Charles Malata-Chirwa, also stated that the organization was at the concluding stages of developing a national quality infrastructure for Nigeria. He said it would also work with the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) as Secretariat and other relevant stakeholders to achieve standardization of acceptable Made-in-Nigeria products. “UNIDO is an organisation that helps developing countries and economies in transition to comply with international standards.
“Most manufacturers in developing countries and related industry support institutions needed to develop systems to comply with the new management standard through certification of processes and even personnel,’’ he said.
Malata-Chirwa acknowledged RMRDC’s efforts in trying to improve the quality of industrial raw materials as being pivotal in ensuring the competitiveness of indigenous consumer goods in the international markets. Meanwhile, RMRDC had in the last quarter of last year said it would work with indigenous manufacturers to utilise local raw materials instead of imported items.
Mr Chuks Ngaha, the Deputy Director, Public Affairs Department of the council, said this in an interview with newsmen at that time. He said the Dr Hussaini Ibrahim, was working in line with the directive of the Ministry of Science and Technology and its mandate to discourage the importation of raw materials. According to Ngaha, the RMRDC was mandated to promote the development and utilisation of Nigeria’s industrial raw materials. “It originated from the recommendations of a Workshop on Industrial Matters organised by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER).
“The council has not deviated from this mandate and it has not failed in achieving its goal of ensuring that a certain percentage, if not all raw materials, used by industries and manufacturing companies are locally-sourced,’’ he said. The deputy director said importation of raw materials and products, which were available or could be competitively produced in Nigeria, would kill economic growth if remained unchecked.