Undergraduates in Nigerian institutions of higher learning have been enjoined to show greater interest in standardisation and quality assurance issues and activities with a view to promoting rapid industrial and economic growth and prosperity.

The Director General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mr. Osita Aboloma made this call in Abuja in a statement to announce the National winners of the 2018 edition of the African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO) annual essay competition for undergraduates in Nigerian institutions of higher learning.

According to him, studies have shown that the continual and rapid development of the human race can only be predicated on established benchmarks which standardisation provides with all its associated fields like testing, quality assurance, conformity assessment, accreditation and metrology among others.

The SON Chief Executive disclosed that Chukwudi Kingsley Igbokwe of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) has emerged the 2018 national winner of the continental competition with a score of 65.95%.

Messrs Chukwunenye, Chukwudike Ukeje of the Federal University of Technology Akure and Obinna Timothy Ewa also of the UNN came second and third respectively, according to the statement.

Mr. Aboloma stated that the theme of this year’s competition as determined by ARSO is “Role of Quality Infrastructure and Standardization in facilitating trade and sustainable development within the African Continental free Trade Area (CFTA)”.

He said further that ARSO is currently encouraging every nation in Africa to develop its Quality Infrastructure (QI) which comprise Metrology, Standardization, Conformity Assessment and Accreditation among other components.

The QI projects are aimed at addressing consumer needs, improving trade competiveness in global markets, promoting efficient use of natural and human resources, food safety, health and environment, which may have necessitated the choice of the theme for the 5th ARSO essay competition, he said.

The SON Director General expressed concern that only 12 entries were received for the 2018 competition in spite of publications on the SON website and social media platforms. The best five of the entries, including those of the national winners have been forwarded to the ARSO Essay Committee for consideration, he said.

He then urged parents and the authorities of institutions of higher learnings in the country to encourage as many of their wards to take active part in the annual National and Continental essay competitions.

These according to Mr. Aboloma will help to broaden knowledge and expand the horizon of the students in standardization and quality assurance issues with a view to improving the lives of Nigerians in the short, medium and long run through standardisation.

On its part, the SON will intensify efforts at promoting the competition among Nigerian institutions of higher learning using all available media platforms.

Members of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for the screening of the entries were drawn from Ministries and Agencies of the Federal Government to promote transparency, impartiality and integrity of the selection process, he said.

They include Federal Ministries of Women Affairs and Social Development (FMWASD); Health (FMoH) and Education (FME) respectively. Others were the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE); National Human Rights Commission and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, said the SON Chief Executive.


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