The ECOWAS Commissioner for industry and private sector promotion Kalilou Traore has charged member countries to have a regional accreditation system to promote national quality policies to suit the different countries.

He said there are challenges in building a quality structure, but these challenges would help countries implement the national policy at the regional level.

Addressing the media at the steering committee and the enlarged regional steering committee of the West Africa quality system programme in Abuja, the Commissioner said the Commission’s mandate is to have a regional quality agency in countries despite the challenges.

Mr Traore said: “the need for sustainability is also been advocated for by partners to ensure that consumers enjoy the benefits of products especially for small medium scale business and the private sectors.”

Also speaking, the programme Manager, Bernard Bau said: “The members believe that the implementation of quality policy in the regions would be maintained through the accreditations at the different level even after the four year budget plan by European Union on the programme.”

The European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Dr Kurt Cornelis in his speech said, “The objective of the project is precisely aimed at setting up regional quality infrastructure system in close collaboration with the West African private sector.

“Our support to the improvement of trade and investment conditions is a priority of the EU cooperation in West Africa, at regional and national level. We are about to start new regional programmes in competitiveness and trade facilitation which will incorporate quality improvement elements.

“The priority is now to move towards a full operationalisation and harmonization of the quality infrastructure system and the reinforcement of an effective and durable partnership between all key stakeholders,” he added.

He assured of EU’s continuous commitment to supporting economic development around the world and the importance attached to the relationship with West Africa.

By Jerry Emmanson, Abuja.