The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), has said that for Nigeria to benefit from the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) recently signed by President Muhammadu Buhari, the implementation should be delayed for the next one year by engaging all stakeholders, and other government agencies to make inputs on how best the free trade agreement should be.
The Association said there is need to ensure that the National Metrology Institute (NMI) operated by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), was well equipped, make adequately functional and proactive to quality assurance and standards.
In a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos, the founder of NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, posited that Nigeria’s signing up for the AfCFTA without due consideration to metrological shortcomings in the local manufacturing content, shall be like opening her economy to further danger of dumping substandard, fake and life endangering products into the country.
He added: “There was no gainsaying the fact that Nigeria was a large market for African countries in particular and the world economy in general. Hence; it was unthinkable to note that Nigeria signed into this agreement without ensuring that Nigerian made products could compete effectively with other manufacturers outside the country.” While recalling that metrology was the science of measurement and the component of the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) that ensured accuracy of measurements to the international system of units (SI), he noted that the institution that provided and ensured the accuracy and traceability of measurement in every country was the National Metrology Institution (NMI), which was domiciled in Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and located in Enugu state.