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Nigeria, Others To Remove Trade Barriers Through Standards

Posted: Jun 26, 2015 at 12:12 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The President, African Organisation for Standardisation, Dr. Joseph Odumodu, has said that the harmonisation of standards within the African region would help to eliminate trade barriers.

Odumodu, who is also the Director-General of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, said this at the opening session of a seminar organised by the ARSO in Abuja.

He told representatives of about 25 countries that attended the event that the current state of globalised trade required the standardisation of products and services in line with the requirements of the World Trade Organisation.

Odumodu said, “Regional and continental integration and cooperation is, perhaps, the most appropriate way of improving the low levels of intra-African trade as well as international trade. It enhances the reaping of economies of scale. It promotes integrated or harmonised treatment of trans-boundary issues such as trade, regulatory frameworks and policies, regional infrastructure and other cross-border issues.

“This has resulted in a growing demand to scale up international, continental and regional solutions, with a greater focus on mainstreaming regional issues in national planning, regional infrastructure and the missing link, economic integration.

“On this note, it is also important to note that organised standardisation has now become an important element of infrastructure needed for the healthy growth of industry and commerce in all countries of the world.”

He lamented that the absence of harmonised standards in Africa had made it difficult for products produced within the continent to remain competitive, adding that this had led to the exportation of unprocessed products to the rest of the world.

The Secretary General, ARSO, Dr. Hermogene Nsengimana, who also spoke at the event, said that many developing countries in Africa faced significant standardisation challenges.

This, he added, had made it impossible for them to effectively participate in global trading activities, becoming signatories to international agreements, developing a strong base for sustainable economic development and slowing the process of Africa’s quest for deeper integration.

Nsengimana said, “With the increasing globalisation of markets, standards have become critical to ensuring access to export markets as standards and conformity assessment are the pillars that underpin the global trading system.”