UK signs MoU with SON

The British Standards Institute (BSI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to improve Nigeria’s trading capabilities.

The two agencies signed the agreement on Wednesday at a training workshop in Abuja.

The agreement intends to share good practice between the two organisations, promote productivity and efficiency, reduce costs and barriers to trade between the UK and Nigeria, by increasing the use of standards.

At the event, the United Kingdom (UK) Government, through the Commonwealth Standards Network (CSN) and the Global Trade Programme (GTP), reiterated its commitment to the development of Nigerian standards agencies.

The British Deputy High Commissioner, Guy Harrison, said the UK would continue to partner with the Nigeria government in providing technical assistance to improve Nigeria’s trading capabilities and the economy at large.

He said the UK has championed the design of different programmes to deliver specific technical assistance to Nigeria to eliminate non-tariff barriers to trade.

The Director of Standard Development of the SON, Mrs Chinyere Egwuonwu, said with the MoU, both agencies have agreed to share information to support standards development and improvement.

Other goals of the agreement are to design capacity building activities to promote standards capabilities, and disseminate information on export and import standards requirements for both countries.

In his address, the Head of International Engagement BSI, Mr. Peter Sissons, said BSI as the business improvement company and UK National Standards Body, signed this agreement to advance cooperation between both organizations.

Speaking on the agreement, the UK Global Trade Programme Manager, Mr. Philip Obosi, said it will promote export of Made-in-Nigeria products to the UK and the World,

“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,” he said.

Obosi added that the new drive will see to measures, which will not only help in the acceptance of Nigeria products in the international market but also create opportunity for those responsible to do the right thing.

“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.

“I am optimistic it will be for the good of the country as well as boost our trade relationships,” he said.