ABUJA, 18 August 2015 –
UNIDO helps Nigeria address food export challenges
During the annual meeting of the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) project held in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, participants discussed the assistance provided by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to improve Nigeria’s quality and standards systems.
The NQI annual meetings, jointly chaired by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) – on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment – and the National Planning Commission, act as the final decision unit for this European Union-funded project. This year, representatives from the European Union Delegation in Nigeria, and from Nigeria Competitiveness Support Programme partners, Germany’s GIZ and the British DFID, also attended the meeting, together with stakeholders from the private sector.
During the previous year, the project has focused on finalizing the country’s National Accreditation System, on outlining the procedures to apply the metrology framework in the country, and on implementing capacity building programmes.
According to Chuma Ezedinma, Officer-in-Charge of the UNIDO Regional Office in Nigeria, “in the course of the past year, the NQI Project has trained over 500 people from the public and private sectors, as well as from analytical laboratories. We are working to ensure that, once operational, the National Quality Infrastructure institutions will have competent support. UNIDO is counting on the commitments made by the government of Nigeria in this respect in order to achieve this.”
During the meeting, Joseph Odumodu, Director General of the SON, said: “The government needs to put certain measures in place to ensure that every exportable product is certified. We need to establish a legal framework for the new institutions, as recommended in the National Quality Policy document.”
The Steering Committee approved both the annual progress report and the NQI project work plan for its third year of activities. Consumer awareness and the development of small and medium-sized enterprises were two areas highlighted for additional support. In response to public concerns following the European Food Safety Authority’s recent suspension of imports of a number of food products from Nigeria, the committee recommended a focus on leather, dried beans, shea butter and melon seeds (egusi).
For more information, please contact:
UNIDO Regional Office in Nigeria