The technical committee on Tobacco and Tobacco products met in Abuja last week to review the Nigeria Industrial Standard NIS 463:2014 for Tobacco and Tobacco Products – Specifications for Cigarette and consider drafts for development of standards for other tobacco products in Nigeria.
Declaring the meeting open, Director General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria, Mr. Osita Aboloma stressed the need to continuously align the requirements in the Nigeria Industrial Standard for cigarette and other tobacco products with relevant decisions reached at the World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and the provisions of the National Tobacco Control Act 2015.
He enthused that some issues require further interrogation in the review of the 2014 version of the standard and urged the technical committee to seize the opportunity of the meeting to examine those issues and arrive at consensus on all of them.
Mr. Aboloma enumerated the requirements for consensus building in Standards development as including;
*Identifying the points of agreement;
*Concentrating discussions on points of divergence in other to achieve consensus;
*Persevering in making every possible effort to achieve acceptance of conflicting views
*Being ready to compromise a part of your point of view to reach agreement, provided that the solution is technically acceptable
*Referring to regional and international standards in case of differences.
*Allowing dissenting parties to state their technical proposals in writing.
In his remarks at the opening ceremony, the Director General, Consumer Protection Council, Barrister Tunde Irukera, reiterated the need to put the interest of the Nigerian Consumers first, in the Committee’s deliberations.
The health and safety of the citizenry and in particular children and women should thus be paramount in the development of standards for products and consumables, he said.
The Committee was chaired by Prof. Mrs. Rachael Idowu of the University of Abuja with membership drawn from the Federal Ministry of Health, regulatory agencies like NAFDAC, CPC, Tertiary and Research Institutions, Professional Bodies like the Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria, Manufacturers, Importers, Non-Governmental Organisations, Consumer Associations and other interested parties.
Resolutions by the Technical Committee are to be submitted for consideration and approval of the Standards Council of the SON before publication, dissemination and implementation.