UNIDO Builds Capacity of Assessors for Quality Products, Service Delivery

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Martins Ifijeh
A 3-day training programme for assessors trained under the auspices of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) EU Funded Nigeria Quality Infrastructure Project, NQIP has ended in Lagos.

This training is a prelude to the Launch of the National Quality Awards billed to take place in Abuja on 20 April 2017.

The NQIP for Nigeria is to support the development of the missing standards and accredited testing and certification bodies in order to improve the quality of products and services exchanged in the Nigerian, regional and international markets.

The Lead Technical Adviser of the project in Nigeria, Dr. Shaukat Malik Hussain said the first quality award was launched by Japan in 1951 when the country was experiencing recession. The programme is credited to helping Japan pull out of the recession at the time. The United States and Europe followed with their own versions in 1988 with similar objectives and results as Japan. The most recent Quality Awards were launched by the United Arab Emirates and China.

The incoming President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, NACCIMA, Iyalode Alaba Lawson in her remarks said “the integrity of the National Awards depends to a large extent on the thoroughness and expertise of the assessor.

Thus, if we must create the desired awareness on quality and standards to build confidence and reliance in Nigeria’s goods and promote healthy competition among manufacturers and service providers using the award system, every detail must be considered and taken with utmost importance.

The National Quality Awards is in four grades, with the highest being the Diamond Excellence Award that entitles the awardee participation in the completion at the regional level for the ECOWAS Quality Award.

In its quest to improve the economy, the Nigerian government has committed through its collaboration with this project, to organize a scheme for National Quality Award for every 2 years, promote best management practices and promote quality culture.

Participants who had previously undergone a rigorous selection process, were drawn from Private and Public sector organizations’.

The three-day intensive training took the participants through Quality Management principles, requirements of ISO 9001:2015 methodology of regional and national audit of the awards as well as assessment report writing amongst other topics.