Nigeria through the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) was among the newly elected 12-member Council of the African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO).

The election was conducted at the recently concluded ARSO Council Meeting and 25th General Assembly hosted by the Kenyan Government in Nairobi through the Kenyan Bureau of Standards (KEBS) from June 17 to 21st, 2019.

The 37-member body is the continental intergovernmental Standardisation body established in 1977 to harmonise African Standards and Conformity Assessment Procedures in order to reduce technical barriers to trade, promote intra-African and international trade as well as enhance the industrialisation of the Continent.

Nigeria as a founding member of the Organisation has participated actively in the activities since inception. Two Nigerian staff of SON had over the years occupied the position of Secretary General of ARSO while a former Director General of the organisation was President between 2014 and 2016.

The country is actively involved in the Technical Harmonisation Committees of ARSO and is currently Chairman of the THC 05 for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Nigeria had hosted the ARSO Council Meeting and General Assembly as well as the maiden ARSO President’s Forum in Lagos and Abuja respectively.

Commenting on the re-election, Director General, SON Osita Aboloma Esq. pledged the continuous and active participation of his organisation as well as other standardisation Stakeholders in Nigeria in the programmes of ARSO.

According to him, Nigeria like other member countries stand to benefit a lot from the effectiveness of ARSO in the area of intra-African and international trade facilitation through improved competitiveness of African products hinged on harmonisation of standards and conformity assessment procedures.

Aboloma further outlined the ARSO’s roles as including to;

  • Harmonise national and/or sub-regional standards as African Standards and issue necessary recommendations to member bodies for this purpose;
  • Initiate and co-ordinate the development of African Standards (ARS) with reference to products which are of peculiar interest to Africa;
  • Encourage and facilitate adoption of international standards by member bodies;
  • Promote and facilitate exchange of experts, information and co-operation in training of personnel in standardisation activities;
  • Co-ordinate the views of its members at the ISO, IEC, OIML, Codex and other international organisations concerned with standardisation activities and
  • Create appropriate bodies in addition to the organs of the organisation for the purposes of fulfilling its objectives.

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