‘NQI project to improve market access for Nigerian goods’
Challenged by the desire to enhance market access of locally manufactured goods, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) have commenced the implementation of National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) project for Nigeria.
According to the agencies, the move is expected to improve the ratio of compliance of made-in-Nigerian goods to global standards while improving market access for the goods originating from the country.
To this end, the agencies, in a bid to aid the development of standards and also empower quality control bodies to improve the quality of goods and services exchanged in the Nigerian, regional and international markets announced the commencement of the implementation of NQI project for Nigeria.
UNIDO representative, Shaukat Malik, while speaking at the 2015 World Metrology day themed “Measurement in National Development” organised by SON in Lagos, noted that the project which is being funded by the European Union (EU) is aimed to support the improvement of standards and quality control agencies in order to advance the quality of products and services.
Malik said the project would boost the competitiveness of the country’s private sector and ensure the protection of its consumers.
“We recognised that the increasing importance of metrology within globalised markets puts more emphasis on the link between costs and quality, quantity and trade,” he said.
The UNIDO Representative noted that without the use of metrology, the simplest of transactions may be open to abuse as it then becomes difficult to regulate trade.
Malik explained that the UNIDO through its NQI project will take up the reins to finalise strategic activities to support the metrology towards international recognition.
On his part, Director-General, SON, Dr Joseph Odumodu, said the establishment of the national metrology institute will help the country to boost her export base by providing the required confidence and reliability in the export goods.
According to Odumodu, the establishment of the institute will eliminate the incidence of inaccurate and short measures in trade, manufacturing, export and import activities in the country
He stated that apart from ensuring improved health standard of the citizenry it will also ensure safe environment by providing accuracy in measurements.
His words: “Metrology, which is the science of measurements, is key to achieving 30 Gross Domestic Product for the manufacturing sector.
“If Nigeria is interested in giving manufacturing 30 percent; if we want to diversify and fight corruption; if we want to identify the number of barrels of oil we sell in a day, we must identify SON’s metrology,” he said.
He further said without metrology lives would certainly be cut short, stressing that proper measurement will help reduce imprecision dominant in the health sector”.