By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday, commissioned the first African Quality Assurance Centre in Sagamu, Ogun State, with assurance to implement the Nigerian Quality Infrastructure Policy aimed at ensuring acceptability of Nigerian products in the global market.
President Buhari, who spoke at the occasion, said the centre would encourage such policy and give confidence to producers, manufacturers that raw materials from Nigeria, are of the highest acceptable quality.
He noted that the Centre would help in job creation, address unemployment challenges and put Nigeria’s industrialization in sound footing.
“It will improve domestic consumption as our priority is to protect the lives and wellbeing of our people by ensuring the quality of what they consume. This is in line with the Federal Government policy of growing what we eat and eating what we grow.
“Quality assurance places us on the right footing as we continue bro drive Nigeria’s industrialization,” he said.
In his remarks, the Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, said the opening of African Quality Assurance Centre is a significant representation of government commitment to the diversification of the nation’s economy from the over reliance on crude oil.
The governor regretted that intra-Africa trade currently stands at around 14% compared to approximately 60%, 40%, 30% intrastate-regional trade that has been achieved by Europe, North America and ASEAN respectively.
Abiodun added that the commissioning of the Centre was another symbolic representation of the commitment of Afreximbank as a partner in the development agenda in Ogun State.
He said his administration, since inception, has focused on creating an enabling environment through the implementation of various business-friendly reforms like the establishment of the Ogun State Investment Promotion Agency, enactment of the Public Private Partnership Law and the establishment of the Public Private Partnership Office, to provides a robust regulatory framework for private sector engagement.
President of African Export and Import Bank (AFRIXEMBANK), Prof. Benedict Oramah, contended that standard and poor infrastructure have been a constraint to African export, stressing that the aim of the Bank is to facilitate the standard of African export through the establishment of quality assurance centres across the continent.
While noting that the centre was equipped with cutting edge technology, Oramah, said the centre would raise the bar by testing member countries export products and ensure they meet acceptable standard thus improve the continent’s competiveness in the global market.
The Agro-Cargo Airport and the Special Agro-Processing Zone sited in the state, the AFREXIMBANK president emphasized, would help in making Ogun State and indeed the nation, an export zone for Africa in the near future.