The Nigeria National Quality Policy will unlock the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) for Nigeria.
The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Quality Council (NQC), Mr Osita Aboloma, made this known while addressing newsmen in Abuja.
The Federal Government established NQC to enhance development, harmonisation and rationalisation of Nigeria’s quality infrastructure.
The council was created to implement the approved Nigerian National Quality Policy document which provides for efficient and effective management of regulatory responsibilities.
It aims to achieve protection of society and the environment as well as transparent and reliable state-regulatory systems, devoid of bureaucratic vagaries.
According to Aboloma, the agency will assist in providing a supportive national quality infrastructure for the country.
He said this consists of Standards and Metrology, Accreditation and Conformity Assessment Services that must be acceptable globally to enhance the competitiveness of products and services made in Nigeria.
He said without adhering to international standards, Nigeria might not enjoy the benefits of AfCFTA as products from Nigeria would continue to suffer rejection due to non-conformity with standards.
According to Aboloma, AfCFTA is a bloc of over 1.3 billion people, ratified in 2021 by over 47 African nations as of August 2022.
He said in the short-to-medium term, the agency would convene a stakeholders’ summit on the implementation of the national quality policy and how it affected every facets of the Nigerian economy.
“We will have a national discourse across the country where we will discuss details of the national quality policy, how it affects various sector of the economy and how it will improve our economy.
“We will also be doing gap analysis that will look at gathering data for every laboratory that exist in Nigeria whether government or privately owned.
“What they are testing and their capacity for those tests, do they have international accreditation, will their result be accepted in Togo for example since we are talking about AfCFTA?
“When we analyse where the gaps are, we can properly advise the government on what needs to be done in the short term, medium term and long terms,”he said.
According to him, this will ensure that trade and commerce within Nigeria, with our neigbouring countries and the rest of Africa and internationally will benefit Nigeria.
Aboloma said these activities would generate jobs for the country, boost economic growth and increase exports for Nigeria.
“ So, it is the working of the national quality infrastructure that will guarantee businesses to function well and the products they are producing are giving people value for their money,”he added.