The Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) says it is prepared for the implications of Nigeria’s signature to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement recently signed by President Buhari.
The Director-General of the Organization, Mr Osita Aboloma, said this in an interview with journalists on the AfCFTA in Abuja, Nigeria.
“The Organization has been working in collaboration with other Ministries, Agencies and Departments of government as well as development partners to develop the National Quality Infrastructure to cater for the free movement of goods and services in Africa,” Mr Aboloma said.
Mr Aboloma enumerated some of the National Quality Infrastructure project already delivered by SON as including a National Metrology Institute nearing completion in Enugu, South-East Nigeria, international accreditation of SON laboratories, its training and management systems certification services as well as ongoing automation of all services to stakeholders.
These, he said, are aimed at promoting the ease of doing business in and with Nigeria.
According to him, “SON has been championing the harmonization of Standards within the ECOWAS region and the African continent through the African Organization for Standardization (ARSO).
“Nigeria through SON holds the Chairmanship and Secretary of many of the Technical Harmonization Committees of ARSO in addition to promoting the participation of many stakeholders in Nigeria in the standards harmonization process.”
The SON Boss acknowledged the imminent challenge of combating the possible dumping of substandard and life-endangering products through the Seaports since the agency is not present to carry out quality verification of products on arrival.
“SON Staff will continue to deploy all strategies including the use of automation, intelligence gathering and compliance monitoring to protect Nigerian Consumers from the menace of substandard and life-endangering products within available resources.”
He extolled the existing robust collaboration among regulatory and security agencies in the fight against substandard products but called for greater synergy, stressing that no efforts should be spared in trying to protect the Nation’s economy and the welfare of its people.
Amaka E. Nliam