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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Nigeria urges Africa-wide standards harmonisation

16th February 2013
Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS)

Harmonisation of standards in Africa is needed in order to make goods competitive and increase the volume of trade within Africa and beyond the continent.

The challenge was given yesterday in Dar es Salaam by the head of delegation of nine members of National Assembly of Nigeria, Senator Nenadi Usman, while visiting Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) offices and laboratories. 
She said harmonised standards in all African countries would help increase trade, hence is improve the livelihoods of the people.
“You have to look on how to harmonise all standards hence become acceptable to end users in your respective countries,” she said.
Senator Zannah urged African countries which have not established standards bodies to do so.
“Before coming here, we stopped in Kenya and asked officials of the African Regional Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO) to encourage them start their own standards bodies,” she said.
 She said they visited Tanzania to share ideas and compare what TBS is doing and its Nigerian counterpart.
However she alerted African countries to take stern measures against substandard products imported from the Far East.
“The rate of trade between Africa and Asia is growing, but we have to make sure that substandard goods are not allowed in order to protect our people and industries,” she emphasised.
For his part, the Acting Director General of TBS, Leandri Kinabo, thanked the delegation for visiting the organisation, saying that TBS has something to learn from the visit as well as the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON).
He observed that TBS has registered some achievements in various areas including establishing a national standardisation system, certification schemes, raising public awareness and accreditation of its four laboratories.
He said the bureau will continue to strengthen its technological capacity and build a strong standardisation and quality assurance infrastructure to effectively implement its statutory obligations.
The bureau will further increase its efforts in building a stable financial base to reduce dependence on subventions from the government and the development partners.
A delegation of representatives from the National Assembly of Nigeria and SON arrived in the country on Thursday for a three day visit.
The visit follows the need to review the Nigerian Standards Act that will take into account current standardization trends as well as approximate global best practices.
According to SON a survey of standards institutions in sub- Saharan Africa, TBS is one of the most outstanding and proactive standards bodies with regard to standardization trends and global best practices.
Earlier the delegation visited the Nigerian High Commission, and held talks with the Minister for Industry and Trade Dr Abdallah Kigoda, as well as officials of the National Assembly Secretariat in the city.


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