NIGERIA – The British Standards Institute (BSI), recognized as the national standards body of the United Kingdom, is poised to establish a strategic partnership with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to strengthen Nigeria’s National Quality Infrastructure (NQI).

This collaborative endeavor is designed to align with the overarching goals of the National Quality Policy (NQP) and the Nigeria National Standardization Strategy (NNSS).

A high-level delegation from BSI, headed by Mr. James Richardson, recently conducted a productive visit to SON’s corporate headquarters in Abuja, laying the groundwork for this transformative initiative.

Discussions between the delegation and SON’s Director-General and CEO, Dr. Ifeanyi Chinonso Okeke, centered on a comprehensive plan to bolster SON’s capacity and drive the NQI forward.

BSI outlined crucial components of their action plan during the meeting, focusing on key steps to support SON in achieving the objectives of the NQP.

Recognizing the pivotal role of standards development, BSI emphasized the importance of training SON’s technical secretaries, committee members, and group heads. A comprehensive training session is scheduled to commence on April 1st, 2024, aiming to equip SON’s team with the necessary skills to lead the NQI effectively.

The significance of SON’s marketing department in promoting the adoption and sales of standards within Nigeria was also highlighted. This approach not only enhances awareness but also serves as a revenue-generating avenue for the organization.

In addition, active engagement with key stakeholders through robust sensitization and collaboration activities was deemed essential. SON’s Public Relations Department will play a crucial role in fostering partnerships and disseminating information about the NQI’s objectives and benefits.

Dr. Okeke expressed his appreciation for the detailed action plan presented by the BSI delegation, commending their dedication to the project and the progress achieved thus far. He emphasized SON’s critical role in advancing Nigeria’s quality infrastructure and reiterated the organization’s commitment to realizing the objectives of the NQP.

In 2022, the BSI also partnered with the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) to ease the adoption of international standards and participation in the development of global standards.

This was part of the Standards Partnership programme, an initiative started by Vicky Ford, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Minister in Ghana and Rwanda.

The programme, unveiled during the Africa Debate 2022 in July, will strengthen supply chains, and reduce barriers to trade by helping both countries meet global standards and regulations.

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