By Chris Uba
The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI) has stated its commitment to provide all necessary support and encouragement to the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and other agencies under its supervision to achieve rapid industrialisation and accelerate economic growth.
This commitment was re-emphasised by the Permanent Secretary of FMITI, Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, in response to a brief from the Director General of
SON, Osita Aboloma in Abuja.
Sani-Gwarzo acknowledged the relevance of standardisation, quality assurance and conformity assessment to all sectors of the economy.
He commended SON’s management under Aboloma for its giant strides in standards development, local and offshore conformity assessment of products, services and processes with particular emphasis on attainment of international accreditation for many of its services to Nigerian stakeholders.
The Permanent Secretary, who also doubles as Chairman of the SON’s Governing Council, enjoined the agency to redouble its efforts in relation to collaboration with other agencies of government as well as the organised private sector groups.
He expressed interest in the working collaboration between the National Metrology Institute (NMI) being developed by SON and the Weights and Measures Department of the FMITI to ensure optimal delivery of services in Industrial and Legal Metrology for the nation’s rapid economic growth.
Briefing the Permanent Secretary earlier, the SON DG acknowledged the support and encouragement enjoyed from the FMITI in the past.
He highlighted some of SON’s recent achievements as including: clearing of all outstanding staff promotion exercises; improved and ongoing capacity development through attainment of international accreditation and recognition for many of its services such as laboratories, management systems certification and training services amongst others.
Others are nationwide infrastructural development of regional/administrative complexes to provide better working environment for staff and take product testing and analysis nearer to the stakeholders, massive development of market-driven standards in conjunction with relevant stakeholders, and offshore Conformity Assessment of products through the Mandatory program for made-in-Nigeria (MANCAP) and SONCAP for imported products.
On his part, Aboloma enumerated some of the challenges confronting SON as including funding for the continuous development of the NMI and other SON laboratories. Others include obtaining international accreditation and running them at greatly discounted rates for SMEs, in support of government’s economic diversification programme.