Fed Govt to boost intra-African trade with infrastructure

The Federal Government will drive products’ competitiveness with metrological infrastructure.

Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment Permanent Secretary Mr. Edet Akpan stated this at the opening of the 12th General Assembly of the Intra-African Metrology Systems (AFRIMETS).

The forum was hosted by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), in Enugu.

Akpan, represented by a SON Governing Council member, Dr. Ifeanyi  Okoye, said the  government, through the ministry, SON and with the support and collaboration of UNIDO and the European Union (EU), is committed to establishing a virile national measurement system.

He said this could be seen from the ongoing development of the National Metrology Institute (NMI) in Enugu.

The commitment is 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 the country and beyond, Akpan said.

He said there has been huge investment in human capacity development in metrology and instrumentation over the years by SON. He acknowledged the supply of some equipment by the UNIDO, which are awaiting installation, assuring that the institute would fully become operational before the end of this year.

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

Earlier, 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 said the country’s membership of AFRIMETS and other continental and international standardisation bodies through the SON is a deliberate effort in ensuring that the country participate actively in the development of international standards with a view to benefitting immensely from the domestication of same.

Declaring the event open, Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi reaffirmed the state’s preparedness to support the NMI project by reconstructig the road leading to the site. He pointed out that its actualisation would lead to rapid economic development of the nation.

Represented by the Commissioner for Special Duties, Cornell Onwubuya, he commended SON for the giant stride.“We’ll continue to support SON in its efforts to rid the Nation of substandard products and promote rapid industrialisation,” he siad.

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

He acknowledged the support of the EU towards the UNIDO Country project including the NQI, among others. He stressed that the NMI development was a pride to the UN family.

AFRIMETS Chairman Mr. Dennis Moturi expressed the organisation’s appreciation to the Federal Government and people for the hosting of the General Assembly. He said SON has been a good representative of the nation in the metrology fraternity.