The Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has disclosed that Nigeria needs to produce goods up to standard to enable Nigerian producers compete fairly and have an edge on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). This was disclosed by Director-General of SON, Mallam Farouk Salim, on Tuesday at a workshop themed “Improved Synergy to Promote Standardisation.”
Salim said that as the AfCFTA commences, other African countries have set up standard protocols, which Nigerian producers need to comply with to make their goods favourable for exports, adding that it is the mandate of the SON to make it possible. “We’ve done enough enforcements, discussed about how to stop all these things that are entering our country. We are working assiduously both within, outside and underground, to improve activities of the organisation so that it can serve the country better,” he said.
This is very important because we have the new African free trade, where goods will be crossing borders without too much hindrances. So what that means for our country is, if our manufacturers are not producing standard goods, they will not cross over to the other countries, because other countries will set standards too and they will expect goods coming to their countries to be up to standard,” he added
He added that it is the responsibility of the SON to make sure that goods in the country are up to standard, citing that governments should make sure that there are consequences and sanctions against any products or persons producing substandard products. “We have to make sure that manufactured goods, building materials are up to standard because in case of collapsed buildings, hundreds of people lose their lives.
“So, as an organisation, we know the weight of our responsibility and the job of the journalist is to keep us on our toes to do the needful,” he said.
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The AfCFTA trade framework received a major boost this month as Nairametrics reported The Secretary-General of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, Mr Wamkele Mene revealed that the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) would save the continent the sum of $5 billion annually when operational.
He revealed that the project being developed in partnership with the African Export-Import Bank (Afriexim Bank), would be ready by the end of 2021. He further stated that the system would address the currency conversion challenges for participating countries and create a low cost and risk-controlled payment clearing and settlement system under intra-African trade, adding that Nigeria and 5 others have signed up for the pilot scheme.