ARSO/ THC 05-Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Harmonisation Committee Meeting Nairobi, Kenya

THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON INDUSTRY AND THE DIRECTOR GENERAL/ CHIEF EXECUTIVE, STANDARDS ORGANISATION OF NIGERIA (SON) VISITED NAIROBI, KENYA TO PARTICIPATE AT THE AFRICAN ORGANISATION FOR STANDARDISATION (ARSO) TECHNICAL HARMONISATION COMMITTEE (THC) ON CHEMISTRY AND CHEMICAL ENGINEERING (ARSO/THC 05), HELD AT THE HILTON HOTEL, NAIROBI- KENYA, AND ALSO THE KENYAN BUREAU OF STANDARDS (KEBS) FROM 30TH NOVEMBER- 2ND DECEMBER, 2016.

The Distinguished Chairman and Member the Senate Committee on Industry, Senator (Dr.) Sam Egwu and Senator Barnabas Gemade, joined the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) led by the Director General/ Chief Executive, Osita Aboloma, to participate at the meeting of the African Organisation of Africa (ARSO) Technical Harmonisation Committee (THC) on Chemistry and Chemical Engineering (ARSO/THC 05), which held from 30th November-2nd December, 2016 at the Hilton Hotel, Nairobi-Kenya. The Nigerian Delegation was received by the Secretary General of ARSO, Dr. Nsegimana Hermogene and the Technical Director, ARSO, Mr. Reuben Gisore.

The harmonization process which is by consensus and other principles of Standardisation, is aimed at having common Standards in order to remove all technical barriers to trade to facilitate intra African trade. The THC 05 has a current membership of Seventeen (17) Countries, with SON as Chair and Secretary. The significance is that the requirements of the Standards will become uniform and acceptable in conformity assessment applications in all member Countries of ARSO in Africa. That is, common standards in Africa but nationalized to bear the Countries’ names.

The participation of the Distinguished Senators was to observe the proceedings of the meeting in the harmonization of African Standards to enhance their understanding of the processes to enhance their oversight functions on SON and support the enactment of laws to promote the competitiveness of locally manufactured products and elimination of substandard imported products as enforced by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON).

The Secretary General, ARSO Dr. Hermogene, thanked the Distinguished Senators for their visit which was in line with the quest of the Organisation in seeking the support of Governments of Member States and law makers in the implementation of Standards. He made a presentation on the role of ARSO during the visit.

In his remarks, Distinguished Senator (Dr.) Sam Egwu expressed the happiness of the Committee at the participation in the meeting as well as thanked the Secretary General for the reception and the work of ARSO. He urged ARSO and the Experts to engage and involve Governments and Law makers in the work of the Organisation to enhance Laws that would ensure maximum institutional support for the work of National Standards Bodies (NSBs) and in the implementation of Standards as without compliance, the Standards will remain mere literatures on the shelves of the Libraries of National Standards Bodies (NSBs). He thereafter, made a commitment to use their position to support SON in achieving her mandate.

VISIT OF THE DISTINGUISHED SENATORS TO KENYAN BUREAU OF STANDARDS (KEBS)

The Distinguished Senators also visited the Kenyan Bureau of Standards (KEBS) in the spirit of Africa’s integration through Standards and cooperation between National Standards Bodies (NSBs) in Africa to share ideas on areas of comparative advantages in Standardisation and Conformity Assessment processes in the promotion of the quality of Kenyan Products and Services. The delegation also inspected the Laboratory facilities at KEBS.

The delegation was received at KEBS by the Chairman of the Board, Hon. Lucas Maitha and the Managing Director, Mr. Charles Ogega Ongwae.

Hon. Lucas Maitha thanked the Senators for the visit and shared his relationship and that of Kenya with Nigeria, during his welcome remarks.

A welcome remark was also made by the Managing Director, of KEBS, Mr. Charles Ogega Ongwae, followed by a presentation by the Directors of: Standards Development, Quality Assurance and Inspection and Metrology, Testing and Market Surveillance.

At the of the presentations and Laboratory tour, the Senators noted the similarities in the operations of both SON and KEBS and promised to ensure that the areas of comparative advantages would be adopted to support SON in executing her mandate. They also enjoined SON/KEBS to continue in the Technical Cooperation to promote the harmonization of African Standards and ensure the competitiveness of Africa’s products and Services in global trade.

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