The British Standard Institute (BSI) and Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to reduce the rate at which Nigeria’s export rejected.
The MoU was signed at a stakeholder meeting organised by the commonwealth standards network (CSN) at the Envoy Hotel in Abuja on Wednesday.
The MoU, which is to foster good practice between the two organisations, will also promote productivity and efficiency in order to reduce costs and barriers to trade between the United Kingdom and Nigeria.
Speaking at the signing event, SON’s Director of Standards Development, Chinyere Egwuonwu, said, “With this MoU, both agencies have agreed to share information to support standards development and improvement, to design capacity-building activities to promote standards capabilities, and disseminate information on export and import standards requirements for both countries.”
Also speaking at the event, the Head of International Engagement for BSI, Peter Sissons, said, “The agreement intends to share good practice between the two organisations, promote productivity and efficiency, and reduce costs and barriers to trade between the UK and Nigeria, by increasing the use of standards.”
The Manager of UK Global Trade Programme, Obosi Philip, said the MoU will translate to a more capable standard body in Nigeria, with access to global standards development programmes and wider standards information-sharing platforms.
“This will in effect, promote export of made-in-Nigeria products to the UK and the world.
“What the country has experienced in recent times with the rejection of our products in international markets will now be addressed with the follow-up activities from the signing of the MoU.
“It will create a good opportunity for those responsible to do the right thing, and I am optimistic it will be for the good of the country as well as boost our trade relationships.”
Other agencies in attendance were the National Agency for Foods Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC).
Donor agencies such as the World Bank and German Development Cooperation (GIZ) were also in attendance.