The Director General of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mallam Farouk, has said that the agency would intensify its campaign to make made-in-Nigeria products compete favourably in the international market.
Speaking in Lagos at SON’s training for MSMEs and exhibition of MANCAP certified products, Salim said SON had over the years, put in place capacity building programmes for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises [MSME’s].
He said that the discounts, waivers and product’s certification processes extended to MSMEs was to ensure the products and services offered meet the specified requirements of the standards and to compete favourably in the international space.
Salim was represented by Dr Richard Adewunmi, SON Marketing Director, during the three days exhibition which was one of the activities to mark SON’s 50th anniversary of the agency.
He said that SON was also providing a proper testing platforms for locally-produced goods in order to prevent them from being rejected in the foreign markets.
“This we are doing by equipping our engineering laboratories, the National Metrology Institute in Enugu, the leather and textile laboratories, foods, chemical and electrical laboratories in Ogba Lagos,” Farouk said.
The inaugural exhibition was attended by over 120 companies which had met SON’s certification of standards.
Salim said the agency was constructing new regional offices and rehabilitating old office buildings, while also working closely with state governments to provide lands for construction of offices and laboratories to enable prompt service delivery to factories and MSMEs.
“We recently commissioned the Kano regional training facility to provide training services for our stakeholders in the North-West and will be commissioning in the North-East regional office complex in Bauchi State in a few days,” he said.
While congratulating the entire family of SON both past and present for their service to the nation, Salim traced back the history of the establishment of SON by an enabling Act No. 56 of December 1971; known as the Standards Organisation of Nigeria cap 412 of the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Today, the amended version of the statute, SON Act No. 14 of 2015, has not only given us more responsibilities, but has also armed us with the powers to conduct search, arrest, prosecute and seal up facilities where they go contrary to its provisions. The Act also increased the penalties for various degrees of violations relative to the offenses and the value of the goods under consideration,” he added.
He, however, lamented that the current Act was inadequate to serve as a tool to solve the issue of unscrupulous importers of substandard products. “We need a stiffer and tougher Act to punish offenders,” he said.
Salim explained that SON was working with the National Assembly to ensure the review of the agency’s Act and appealed for speedy facilitation of the process.
Mrs Talattu Etah, Director, Lagos Operations, SON in her welcome address, said that the agency was responsible for ensuring that manufacturers adhere to standards in the country.
“Hence our MANCAP and the ISO mark which represent our approval seals for products that meet the required standards of the agency.
“This exhibition is, therefore, organized to showcase some of the products that have gotten the MANCAP seals of the agency, celebrate them and let the public know the importance of the MANCAP seals on any product in the country and encourage those yet to get such standardization seal to immediate commence the process of getting it,” she said.
“My appeal, therefore to products’ manufacturers is on the need to get the MANCAP seal for their products, since that engenders the much-needed confidence in whoever is buying such product,” added Etah.
Mrs Yeside Akinlabi, Director, South-West, urged consumers to patronize made in Nigeria products, saying such development will help to grow the economy.
She noted that made-in-Nigeria products are certified from raw materials to finished products.
The climax of the event was the presentation of awards to 18 deserving companies.
The majority of the exhibitors urged SON to make the event an annual trade fair to showcase Nigerian products.
Kindly like us on Facebook/twitter