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  Industrialization   Two organizations, Organized Private Sector (OPS) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)have decided to work together so that Nigerian products can meet domestic, regional and international standards. This resolution was reached during a meeting in Lagos organized by UNIDO on ‘Quality Infrastructure’. Dr. Patrick Kormawa, UNIDO Representative said the private sector has identified some problems and has shown its willingness to work with UNIDO, the EU and the Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment so as to increase the competitiveness of locally made products in the international market place. He said that the organization has agreed to use five mechanisms which will build the capacity of the Consumer Protection Council so that it can create awareness for the consumer to ask for quality products. He explained, “It is one thing to produce a quality product but if the consumers themselves do not know the difference between high quality and low quality products, they will not demand for it. The consultation with the OPS within the national quality infrastructure project is an EU funded project but implemented by UNIDO with the support of the FMITI. The project has the objective of improving on the quality of products made in Nigeria so that they can be sold internally and in international market.” He continued, “The time frame for this project is four years and we have already started, we are now half a year into the programme and a lot of consultations have been taking place both within the public and private sector. You cannot improve on your GDP if you do not produce products in Nigeria and sell them in the international market. We also will not provide the needed jobs in this country if we are not able to manufacture products here and trade them in the international or regional market.” He added, “But for us to be able to trade, we need to at least meet basic quality requirements, most of the products that are made in this country are rejected because they do not meet certain basic quality requirements.” Executive Director, Business Development of the Bank of Industry, Mr. Waheed Olagunju, pointed out in addition, “The markets are used to (high) standards and there is no way you can export in particular, if you do not adhere to international standards or international best practice.”  

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This article was first published on 3rd June 2014

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