The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) says product certification services in identified sectors of the economy have the potential to fetch the country ₦13 billion annually.
UNIDO stated this in its technical brief on the commercial opportunities available in the Conformity Assessment component of the National Quality Infrastructure Programme (NQIP).
It said, “The market opportunity for certification, estimated in terms of potential revenue, is found to be very high.
“Preliminary opportunity assessment of certification conducted by the business plan study indicated a potential annual revenue of ₦13.5 billion from agriculture, mining and quarrying, manufacturing and products value chains.
“Certification service is a commercial activity and private companies can engage in certification services for profit.
“The experience of nations with strong certification infrastructure is that there are a number of competent and accredited private certification bodies functioning to earn profit out of the technical service.’’
The organisation said that the Nigerian economy, being the largest in Africa, had huge opportunities to promote and implement certification functions, thereby reaping its economic and functional benefits.
According to UNIDO, the organised private sector has the opportunity to respond to the huge market demand by engaging in the business for profit and other economic gains.
It was reported that product certification is a formal and written assurance by a recognised body that products and services meet defined requirements or standards.
It is an aspect of the conformity assessment component of the European Union-funded NQIP being implemented by UNIDO in coordination with the Federal Government and the private sector.
The organisation noted that the certification infrastructure in the country was not properly developed in proportion to the size of its economy.
This, it added, is one of the reasons the country’s non-oil exports continue to suffer rejection and low pricing in the global market.
“Despite the huge business opportunity in certification service, the number of private certification service providers remains very low in Nigeria.
“Evidence indicates that there are about six certification bodies in Nigeria with only one domestic private organisation, other one domestic public sector body and the rest are global organisations.
“Though Nigeria is the biggest economy and also most populous nation in Africa, the certification infrastructure is not developed proportionally,’’ it added.
UNIDO, therefore, advised the relevant public and organised private sector involved in the NQIP project to be committed to its speedy completion.
It said the country needed to urgently develop its conformity assessment infrastructure to improve the quality, safety, integrity and marketability of its goods and services, and remove technical barriers to trade.