By Unukere Oboh
United Kingdom Government has expressed its commitment to promote an inclusive economic growth in Nigeria.
British Deputy High commissioner in Nigeria, Mr. Guy Harrison said on Wednesday in Abuja, that the UK Government is committed to partnering with Nigeria towards enhancing the country’s economic development through the provision of technical assistances to improve her trading capabilities.
Harrison made the declaration while speaking at the ongoing Commonwealth Standards Network (CSN) and the Global Trade Programme (GTP), organised technical training activity on standards development for Nigerian Standards Agencies.
The programme which championed the design of different programmes to deliver specific technical assistance to Nigeria to eliminate non-tariff barriers to trade also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the British Standards Institute (BSI) and the Standards Organization of Nigeria.
Speaking at the signing event, the Director of Standards Development of the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), Mrs. 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.”
On his part, the Head of International Engagement, British Standards Institute (BSI) Mr. Peter Sissons said “BSI as the business Improvement Company and UK National Standards Body, signed this Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), the National Standards Body of Nigeria, to advance cooperation between both organizations. 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.”
Also speaking the UK Global Trade Programme Manager, Obosi Philip, noted that “The training activity and MoU will translate to a more capable standard bodies 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.”
According to Obosi, the new drive will see to the involvement of measures, which will help in the acceptances of Nigeria products in the international market, saying “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.”
Also at the training were other key standards authorities in Nigeria, including the National Agency for Foods Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment (FMITI) and Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC). Donor agencies such as the World Bank and German Development Cooperation (GIZ).