EU donates N259.2m toward National Quality Policy

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ABUJA – The Federal Government on Monday confirmed that the European Union (EU) had supported Nigeria’s National Quality Infrastructure Programme (NQIP) with a grant 12 Euros ( about N259.2 ).

The Minister Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga, made the confirmation at the inaugural meeting the project’s steering committee Abuja.

NQIP is aimed at building trust for trade by the creation and maintenance standards, measurement, and accreditation globally acceptable laboratories, among .

Aganga said that the country would work hard justify the funding the EU, explaining that the money specifically allocated for the building of capacity for NQIP.

“For us, the process leading the formation of a world-class quality infrastructure project that would moderate standards the country is a game changer.

“We are the process of making history and this administration must be given a chance.

“When you look at what present administration is doing provide a firm foundation for the industrialisation of the country, it is natural that we attract this level of attention our development partners.

“I recall when I setting up the Sovereign Wealth Fund as Minister of Finance, the DFID played a major role in the financing, structure and principles and support for the fund,’’ he said.

According to him, they do that because they see the fund as a game changer; today, see the fund as a game changer. [eap_ad_1] “For the first time, the SWF has been ranked at number two position in global ranking in terms of and corporate governance,’’ Aganga said.

On NQIP, he said that a similar model which derived its functionality and corporate governance would be adopted.

He said that UNIDO and EU were development partners that had ensured and financial support for the project.

He pointed out that decades of absence of quality and standards in the country had cost the drain of huge revenues from the economy, saying “that is the reason we are where we are.”

“We are not mediocre but because we have not built the required institutional framework to support manufacturing, the non-oil sector remains stiff.

“Our products are not acceptable at international market owing to quality and standards; accounts for 75 per cent of non-oil export from Africa. We must brace up,’’ he said.

Aganga expressed optimism that at the end of this process when a new national quality infrastructure project would come on board, the country would take its pride of place.

On part, Head of EU Delegation, Mr Michel Arrion, said that the provision of financial assistance for building national quality infrastructure for Nigeria informed by the country’s strategic position in Africa.

Arrion, who is the EU Representative in Nigeria, said that it was the interest of the Union for similar project to be replicated in countries in West Africa.

“EU has found Nigeria worthy to be assisted with 12 euros, while another 16 euros was given to ECOWAS to develop similar in countries in the region.

“The global committee survives on quality and standard products and we are prepared to ensure that Africa and especially, Nigeria, produce quality products for its peoples and the world,’’ he said.

Earlier, the UNIDO Representative, Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr Patrick Kormawa, said the organisation was for the development of the framework and capacity for NQIP.

He, however, said the funding from the EU would be used to build the National Quality , set up National Accreditation body for vetting and certification of products.

He added that the money would also be used to build National Meteorology Laboratory that would aid in providing acceptable measurement and weight values for products. (NAN)