The Validation Workshop on Nigeria National Quality Policy held on Monday 4th November, 2019 at Chelsea Hotel, Abuja, Nigeria.
The Nigerian National Quality Policy aims at strengthening/ development of the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) in order to achieve accelerated economic growth, increase in exports, ensure supply of safe quality product at competitive prices and contribute towards the protection of the environment. NNQP shall contribute to poverty reduction and economic prosperity by realizing an effective National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) capable of raising the quality of goods and services, thus increasing Nigeria’s export-led growth and leading to industrial expansion and diversification. in line with the National Industrial Revolution Plan and the National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan. This policy supersedes other provisions in any other national sectoral quality related policies.
The Director General of Nigeria National Accreditation Service, (NiNAS) Mr. Celestine O. Okanya stated the essence of the workshop in his welcome address that the validation of the final draft copy of the updated National Quality Policy is for subsequent action by the Federal Government of Nigeria and to tackle the behavioral change on goods and services production, making people to do the right thing by giving adequate quality services and taking the policy to the finish line. He noted that there is need to work on the quality policy of Nigeria and to ensure the quality of all goods and services even in the banking sector, import and export commission of different countries partnering with Nigeria most especially China that produce almost every goods and help to boost the economic development in Nigeria. This processes is in the right direction for the Nigeria Quality Infrastructure especially with the signing into law of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement by President Muhammadu Buhari.
However, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) signed an agreement in July 2013 to support Nigeria to improve its quality infrastructure in a bid to expand its economic base towards the productive and non-oil sectors. This support was based on the premise that with the establishment of a national quality infrastructure with all its pillars will result in much improved quality of products and services. It was therefore intentional to focus the intervention towards strengthening existing pillars while creating new ones found to be lacking. This is expected to allow private sector businesses grow to be more competitive while guaranteeing consumers’ rights are protected as they receive value for every Naira spent.
Inputs and recommendations/comment were received from Government/Regulators:
• Department of Weights and Measure, FMITI
• Nigeria Agriculture Quarantine Services, NAQS
• Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC
• National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC
• Standard Organization of Nigeria, SON
• Nigeria Environmental Standards Regulatory Enforcement Agency, NESREA
Prof. Usman, from Ahmadu Belo University Zaria stated that Nigeria cannot enjoy the full packages that are attached with the AfCFTA that was recently signed into by Nigeria without a standard, quality policy will never see the light of the day. Every country have their quality policy document that govern the trade and business activities. As a nation we need strong technical support agencies in standards, metrology, accreditation, and conformity assessment in addition to agencies concerned with productivity, Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) extension, and technology innovation. We must now more than ever before show commitment to acquiring advanced infrastructure in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Just as our times changes, so shall our rules, legal systems and agencies to encourage enterprises to build competitive capabilities and allow talent and knowledge management.
The workshop was well attended by various stakeholders in the Quality Infrastructure, donor agencies, institutions and bodies including international partners such as the World Bank Group, USAID-ACFNA, USP and British High Commission. Some stakeholders present at the occasion include representatives of the Minister of Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI), Organized Private Sector (OPS), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, & Agriculture (NACCIMA), National Association of Small and Medium Enterprise (NASME), Nigeria Quality Infrastructure Forum (NQiF), National Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI), Employers Consultative Association (NECA).
The representatives of departments of Weights and Measure FMITI, Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Services (NAQS) , Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), National Agency for Food & Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), Nigeria Environmental Standards Regulatory Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Nigeria National Accreditation Service (NiNAS), Medical Laboratory Council of Nigeria (MLSCN), Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), Department of Trade FMITI among other participants.
The Nigerian National Quality Policy (NNQP) needs to be adopted and approved by the Federal Government. This is an urgent need for the economy to consolidate, refine, and sustain an effective and efficient national QI ecosystem in line with the government’s development and industrialization plans and according to good international best practices. Equally important is the need to allocate the required needed budget for its implementation.
For: National Association of Nigerian Traders, (NANTS)
Mr. Ayo Omowu,
Assistant Program Officer; Agriculture & Livelihood/Head of Media