The Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) and the National Approval Committee (NAC) of the Economic of the West Africa States (ECOWAS) under it Economic Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS) have commenced inspection of 12 factories in 12 states across Nigeria.
The development they said was to ensure that the goods produced by the companies continue to meet global best practices before they are traded within the region.
The states to be visited includes FCT, Kaduna, Kogi, Ogun, Kwara, Edo, Anambra, Lagos, Kano, kastina, Gombe and Cross Rivers. Coordinated by the ECOWAS division of the Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs (FMoFA), the NAC consist on representatives of the Federal Minister of Industry,Trade and Investment (FMITI), Federal Ministry of Finance (FMoF), Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), National Agency for Foods , Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
Other members of the committee are the Nigeria Exports Promotion Council (NEPC) and the National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).
Our correspondent recalls that the committee screened about 30 companies in March 2018 out of which 28 were granted provisional approval subject to the factory inspection exercise being currently carried out to ascertain their claims.
Products considered under the ETLS includes, goods whose raw materials completely originated from the region; goods which are not wholly produced but their production required the exclusive use of materials which are to be classified under a different tariff sub-heading from that of the product; goods that are not wholly produced, but their production required the use of material which have received a value added of at least 30 per cent of the ex-factory price of the finish goods and goods manufactures in free zones or special economic scheme involving suspension partial or total exemption of entrance fees do not qualify for originating products status.
The ETLS is the main ECOWAS operational tool for promoting the West African region as a free trade area through regional cooperation and economic integration. It is a mechanism for ensuring free circulation of goods and services within the ECOWAS region with the abolition of customs duties levied of import and export as well as the abolition of non-tariff barriers.
The factory inspections in the state were led by NAC focal points member Mrs. Chioma Chidi-Anaukwu and the representative of FMoFA inspected Alibert products ltd. (furniture); Binani Nigeria ltd. (Exercise and Text books) leaf tobacco (cigarette) and Ghuria organic Fertilizer.