Stakeholders in the manufacturing, importation and regulation of powdered detergent in Nigeria have committed to the elimination of sodium tripolyphosphate (STPP) as raw material.

The move is to protect the aquatic environment as well as ensure the strict implementation of the Nigerian Industrial Standards (NIS ARS 496-2:2018) for synthetic detergent powder, which prohibits the use of STPP.

This commitment was part of the resolutions reached at a Stakeholders Forum put together by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), in Lagos, to review the implementation of the standards and the level of compliance by manufacturers, importers and regulators of the products in the country.

The forum was attended by manufacturers under the soap and detergent sub-sector of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN); the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS); National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC); National Environmental Standards Regulatory Agency (NESREA); and the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), and others.

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In a presentation by SON, the manufacturers were confronted with facts based on a nationwide sampling of powdered detergents and laboratory tests that the use of STPP as raw material has not totally abated in Nigeria.

In his opening address, the Director-General, SON, Farouk Salim, pointed to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development goal number 12 on “responsible consumption and production,” which highlights the importance of protecting the environment for posterity.

He therefore charged the stakeholders to contribute to more sustainable and responsible industrial practices.

Salim, represented by the Ag. Director, Operations, Dauda Yakubu, highlighted the enormous business opportunities for the powdered detergent manufacturers in Nigeria in view of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA).

He however said that only products that meet the requirements of the applicable standards would thrive under AfCFTA, given the ongoing harmonisation of standards across the continent under the African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO) platform.

He urged Nigerian manufacturers to embrace the SON’s Integrated Management Systems (IMS) certification, which includes the Quality Management System (ISO 9001:2015); and Environmental Management System (ISO 14001:2015) standards, to help their businesses meet legal and regulatory requirements and satisfy industry standards.

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