The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, said quality of goods and services will no longer be compromised in Nigeria.
Enelamah made the assertion at the 1st Nigeria National Quality Award (NiNQA) in Lagos.
NiNQA was launched on April 20 and developed within the National Quality Project in Nigeria (NQIP).
NQIP is a 12 million Euros project funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) as part of the strategies to increase awareness on quality and standard in Nigeria.
Enelamah, represented by Mrs Omololu Opeyemi, the Director, Nigeria Commodity Exchange, said the focus of government and enterprises should be on product quality and service delivery.
He said that the award by UNIDO was apt, especially as the nation’s economy has stabilised, adding that such programme was needed for sustainability.
The minister said that the Federal Government would continue to make giant strides toward improving the ease of doing business in the country.
He noted that the enterprising spirit of Nigerians would be more productive without hurdles in their path.
Enelamah said that this was the government’s strategic policy for industrial development with the cooperation and partnership with international bodies like UNIDO for effective development of industrial initiatives toward impacting the economy.
The minister said that government recently embarked on an industrialisation programme to increase the contribution of manufacturing sector to Gross Domestic Products (GDP) in the next five years.
According to him, the initiative will make Nigeria a manufacturing hub for West Africa region and diversification of the economy will be driven through the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
He said that the plan was to periodically review economic performance, opportunities, trends and challenges within the sector toward providing innovative intervention to boost investment and productivity.
“Confidence building for creating trust is critical in enabling environment for investment and competitiveness.
“The Nigeria National Quality Award initiative is a veritable tool in building both local and international trust in Nigeria for enhanced development,” he said.
In his remarks, Mr Jean Bakole, the UNIDO Director in Nigeria, said trade has been identified as a driver of economic growth and good quality was essential for local, regional and international market.
Bakole said that the award seeks to increase awareness on quality standards, contribute to consumers’ confidence in Nigerian products and promote healthy competition among manufacturers and service providers.
According to him, quality ensures promotion of best management practices and supports private and public sector organisations to develop and implement best management practices.
He said that criteria for the award were based on national and international standards like ISO 9000 Quality Management System and ISO 9004.
Bakole said that quality ensures competitiveness, economic growth and improved living standards for consumers.
He said that UNIDO was committed to assist Nigeria in its journey to quality toward boosting participation in global trade.
Also, Mr Babatunde Irukera, the Director-General, Consumer Protection Council (CPC), said that UNIDO, through its activities, was erecting a building blocks that changes consumerism in the country.
Irukera said that the award would drive corporate obligatory responsibility that calls for quality in every facet of interaction with a product or service