FG TO BOOST INTRA-AFRICAN, INTERNATIONAL TRADE WITH METROLOGICAL INFRASTRUCTURE

Enugu State Governor’s representative Hon. Cornell Onwubuya (in white) in handshake with Mr. Osita Aboloma, DG, SON. Watching from left are the African Union Commission Representative, President AFRIMETS, Dennis Moturi and Engr. Obiora Manafa, Director, National Metrology Institute.

Worried by the low level of market access within the African Continent and beyond, the Federal Government has committed to driving competitiveness of products from Nigeria and the West African Region, using metrological infrastructure.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Edet Akpan stated this at the opening of the 12th General Assembly of the Intra-African Metrology Systems (AFRIMETS) hosted by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in Enugu.

Represented by a member of the SON Governing Council Dr. Ifeanyi Okoye, he stated that the Nigerian Government, through the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, SON, with the active support and collaboration of UNIDO and the European Union is committed to the establishment of a virile national measurement system, as can be seen from the ongoing development of the National Metrology Institute (NMI) in Enugu, South East Nigeria.

This commitment, he stated was aimed at developing, strengthening and upgrading the national metrological infrastructure to facilitate trade, enhance export, accelerate economic development, protect the environment and ensure the health as well as safety of consumers in Nigeria and beyond.

Mr. Akpan, who is also the Chairman, Governing Council of SON, alluded to huge investment in human capacity development in the field of metrology and instrumentation over the years by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria. He acknowledged the supply of some equipment by the UNIDO, awaiting installation and assured that the NMI will fully become operational before the end of 2018.

According to him, the recent formation of the Metrology Society of Nigeria (MSN) and the hosting of the 12th AFRIMETS General Assembly are some of the positive signs for the growth, development and awareness creation on the science of measurements, accuracy and traceability in Nigeria.

In his welcome address at the occasion, SON Director General, Mr. Osita Aboloma expressed delight at the overwhelming attendance of 21 African member-countries and development partners at the AFRIMETS technical meetings and general assembly in Enugu, Nigeria.

He stated that Nigeria’s membership of AFRIMETS and other continental and international standardisation bodies through the SON is a deliberate effort in ensuring that the Nation participates actively in the development of international standards with a view to benefitting immensely from the domestication of same.

Mr Aboloma enumerated Nigeria’s efforts at creating awareness on metrology services and the benefits it can bring to the Nation’s economy and the welfare of its people through programmes such as the annual celebration of World Metrology Day, with the active involvement and participation of stakeholders.

Declaring the General Assembly open, the Executive Governor of Enugu State Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi reaffirmed the State Government’s preparedness to support the NMI project by attending to the road leading to the site, pointing out that its actualization will lead to rapid economic development of the Nation.

Represented by the Commissioner for Special Duties, Cornell Onwubuya, the Governor commended the Standards Organisation of Nigeria for the giant stride stressing thus “We’ll continue to support SON in its efforts to rid the Nation of substandard products and promote rapid industrialization”

Also speaking at the occasion, UNIDO Regional Director, Mr. Jean Bakole reiterated the organisation’s commitment to the actualization of the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) project in Nigeria, of which metrology is a key component.

He acknowledged the support of the European Union towards the UNIDO Country project consisting of the NQI project among others, stressing that the NMI development is a pride to the United Nations family.

The Chairman of AFRIMETS, Mr. Dennis Moturi expressed the organisations appreciation to the Nigerian Government and people for the hosting of the General Assembly, stating that the Standards Organisation of Nigeria has been a good representative of the Nation in the metrology fraternity.

Mr. Moturi acknowledged the hospitality of the Nigerian Government and people to the delegates, stressing that the NMI development is a great catalyst to similar activities among African member Nations of AFRIMETS.

A cross section of participants at the AFRIMETS General Assembly


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