NIGERIA – The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) is considering adopting African and developing new standards on sugar and sugar products such as glucose and sucrose to improve intra-African trade as well as promote harmonisation of standards across the continent.

The standards will be considered for cane sugar, brown sugar, white sugar, glucose and sucrose, based on a report by the Guardian Nigeria.

To ensure the process is a success, a technical committee was formed to see adoption of some of the standards from African Organization for Standardization (ARSO) and development of other Nigeria Industrial Standards.

The organisation highlighted that the move was necessary given the economic importance of the products, widely used as sweeteners for human consumption and raw materials in the food value chain.

New standards in addition to elaboration of the current ones will ensure quality of finished products since it highlights quality of raw materials, technological procedures and the handling along the food value chain.

“It is therefore imperative for Nigeria to develop standards that take into cognizance these salient factors in a bid to forestall threat to life, waste of resources and to boost the quality of products both for local consumption and exports,” said Osita Aboloma, SON Director General.

The efforts lay out Nigeria’s contribution to improve intra-African trading capacity cross border products and services competitiveness and advancing the welfare of the people of the continent.

This follows an agreement by African countries to create one of the world’s largest free trade blocs by removing barriers to trade such as tariffs and import quotas.

It offers Nigeria increased trade opportunities and competitiveness of its goods and services not only in the continent but globally.

According to Aboloma, the developments complement the government’s policy to diversify the economy and revive non-oil exports by adding value through standardization and quality assurance.

The government is also seeking to enhance local production where it recently announced it was considering levies on imported starch sweeteners flour and ethanol, something that will aid reduce on food import bill.