Nigeria joins continental committee to harmonise standards
Nigeria, through the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), has been elected into the Standards Management Committee (SMC) of the African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO).
In a keenly-contested election involving 13 member states, Nigeria came first with 27 votes. Other member states elected into the SMC were Kenya with 19 votes, Burkina-Faso, South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia.
The SMC was approved as a component of the revised procedures for harmonization of African Standards (ASHAM) by the 61st Council meeting of ARSO, held in November 2019, in Lusaka, Zambia.
The SMC is charged with the responsibility of coordinating the management and timely execution of the procedures, due process, and Standards harmonisation programmes of ARSO.
SON Director, Standards Development, Mrs. Chinyere Egwuonwu, represents Nigeria on the SMC.
According to SON, the Committee, would, amongst others, also be responsible for the establishment and dissolution of Technical Committees (TCs); appointment of Chairpersons of TCs; allocation or re-allocation of secretariats of TCs, and in some cases, Subcommittees (SCs).
It also approves titles, scopes, programmes of work of TCs; approval of the establishment and dissolution of SCs by TCs; recommending Final Draft African Standards (FDARS) proposed by TCs for approval by Council; and coordination of the technical work, including assignment of responsibility for the development of standards regarding subjects of interest to several TCs.
The Secretariat of the SMC according to the ARSO Secretariat would be held by Regional Economic Communities (REC), on a rotational basis for a period of three (3) years each.
Commenting on Nigeria’s election, SON Director-General, Farouk Salim, reiterated the organization’s commitment to promoting the nation’s continual relevance in regional, continental and international standardisation, especially in view of the imminent implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
This, according to Salim, would ensure that Nigeria benefits optimally from being a signatory to the agreement as well as similar international trade treaties.
Nigeria was a founding member of the continental standardisation body and has twice headed the Secretariat as the Secretary-General.
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