The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) said it is prepared for the imminent implications of Nigeria’s signature to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), recently accented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Organisation has been working in close collaboration with other Ministries, Agencies and Departments of government as well as development partners to develop the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) to cater for the free movement of goods and services in Africa.
These assertions were made by the Director General, Osita Aboloma, at a media interview on the AfCFTA in Abuja.
He enumerated some of the NQI project already delivered by SON to include a National Metrology Institute nearing completion in Enugu, 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 Organisation for Standardisation (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 Helmsman disclosed.
Other preparatory steps towards the free movement of goods and services according to Aboloma include the development of Standards for artisanship such as carpentry, masonry, fashion design, painting among many others to ensure free exchange of the services particularly within West Africa.
Aboloma 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.