20 African Countries Meet Over Substandard Products

Participants on Monday converged on Lagos ahead of a conference by 20 African countries to discuss ways of ridding the continent of substandard products.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that as a prelude to the meeting, some of the participating countries are undergoing a three-day training on “Electro-Magnetic Compatibility and eco-labeling.

The meeting is being organised the African Organisation Standardisation (ARSO).

Dr Joseph Odumodu, the Director-General of Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), told journalists that the conference would discuss a common regional standard to boost trade on the continent.

According to him, ARSO will come up with common agenda on anti- dumping of substandard products in the region.

“ The issue has become a menace and it is capable of affecting the industrialisation of the region,’’ he said.

He also said the meeting would create a platform for standard regulators and other stakeholders to review pertinent issues in the sector and chart a way forward.

According to him, it is imperative to enthrone the value of quality and standards as a way of life and to enable consumers to have value for their money.

He noted that adherence to standards would also impact positively on industrial capacity utilisation, creation of employment and reduction in the level of crime.The President of ARSO, Dr Kioko Mang’Eli urged the participants to take advantage of the programme to boost industrialisation.

“ It’s only when we improve the level of our production, it is then trade within the region will increase.

“ The trade within the region is very low and we have to do something about it to prevent our region from being a dumping ground for substandard products,” he said.