Standardisation vital for Nigeria’s participation in AfCFTA—SON

Standardisation has been identified as one of the crucial ingredients to achieving optimum benefit by Nigeria in the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), as it would promote the much needed growth in industrialisation for rapid economic development.

The Director-General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Osita Aboloma alluded to this at the AfCFTA two-day National Forum organised by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in conjunction with the Federal Government of Nigeria, the African Union (AU), European Union (EU), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) in Lagos.

Aboloma, a guest discussant at the forum tagged “Gearing up for AfCFTA: The Critical Readiness Requirements” disclosed that standards and standardisation remain fundamental for the country to achieve rapid industrialisation and indeed a key element for the nation’s economic growth through participation in intra African trade. According to Aboloma, represented by the Director Standards Development, Mrs. Chinyere Egwuonwu, SON has developed Quality Infrastructures in areas such as laboratories, metrology, standardisation and accreditation including legal and regulatory frameworks necessary for industrial development and global competitiveness. He stated that for Nigeria to further harness the benefits of AfCFTA, SON is at the forefront of harmonising standards at regional and continental levels to eliminate the multiplicity of same and thus promote seamless trade within Africa. It is also involved in Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) for the acceptance of quality marks, test results and certifications issued among National Standard Bureaus (NSB) in Africa, he said.

This according to him, “is to ensure that Nigeria takes off at the blast of the whistle, so we are not left behind in the race for the African market share, because we have all it takes to grow the nation’s economy through the trading of commodities that are competitive and of good quality in markets within the continent” he stated.