Afreximbank Unveils $100m Quality Assurance Centre in Ogun State
The African Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank), yesterday, announced plans to invest up to $100 million for the establishment of quality assurance centres in Nigeria.
Already, the bank has deployed $11 million for the completion of the first African Quality Assurance Centre in Ogun State. President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, Prof. Benedict Oramah, who spoke at the unveiling of the facility, yesterday, said the state-of-the-art facility would offer testing, certification, inspection and training services covering agricultural products.
According to Oramah, the project will also support the transformation of the structure of Nigeria and African businesses, accelerating industrialisation and intra-regional trade, thereby boosting the nation’ s competitiveness and economic expansion in global market.
He said that the project is the first in a series of quality assurance centres that Afreximbank intends to establish across Africa to support industrialisation by ensuring that African products are manufactured to international standards and enabling them to participate in intra-African and global trade.
MEANWHILE, President Muhammadu Buhari, who lauded the Afreximbank for the initiative, said that the project would go a long way at improving quality assurance for domestic consumption.
Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, said the Centre would encourage such policy and give confidence to manufacturers that raw materials from Nigeria are of the highest acceptable quality.
He noted that the Centre would help in job creation, address unemployment challenges and put industrialisation in sound footing.
In his remarks, Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, said the opening of the Centre was a significant representation of government’s commitment to diversify the nation’s economy from over-reliance on crude oil.
The governor, while lamenting that intra-Africa trade currently stands at around 14 per cent compared to approximately 60 per cent, 40 per cent and 30 per cent intra-state-regional trade that has been achieved by Europe, North America and ASEAN respectively, said that the commissioning of the Centre was another symbolic representation of the commitment of Afreximbank as a partner in the development agenda in Ogun State.
He said his administration, since inception, had focused on creating an enabling environment through the implementation of various business-friendly reforms like the establishment of the Ogun State Investment Promotion Agency, enactment of the Public Private Partnership Law and the establishment of the Public Private Partnership Office, to provide a robust regulatory framework for private sector engagement.