The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) says it has deployed 213 Nigerian Industrial Standards to combat proliferation of fake products in the country.
Director General of SON, Mallam Farouk Salim, who made this known at a media briefing to mark the 50th anniversary of the Organisation on Wednesday in Abuja, said over 168 new standards were approved for the agency in 2020 for a period of two years.
Salim, who expressed delight that SON has recorded several giant strides since coming into force five decades ago, said the Organisation has evolved to become a standards regulatory body of global recognition.
According to him, SON was established at a time when the country needed a regulatory body to lead the process of institutionalizing standardization as a measurable process for quality assessment.
He further stated that currently, SON is structured to lead every process that surrounds the preparation of standards relating to products, measurements, materials, and processes among others, and their promotion at the national, regional, and international levels.
He said, “It is important to emphasize that SON today has evolved into one of the world’s most reputable standards regulatory bodies due to good leadership demonstrated by the successive Chief Executives.
“This is seen in the various innovations, championed by the past and present leaders of the organization. Some of the notable innovations over time in the Organisation are Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) for local manufacturing and Standards Organisation of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Progamme (SONCAP) for offshore assessment of cargoes.
“Let me seize this opportunity to express my profound gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Hon. Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo and Hon. Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Maryam Katagum for their great support and cooperation. President Muhammadu Buhari has more than doubled the speed and drive for quality management and standardization in the country.
“A quick reference to this is the enactment of the SON Act 2015 by the visionary leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari shortly after he assumed office as civilian President with the aim and responsibility of providing additional functions for the organization. The Act increased the penalty for violation and for related matters.”
To further demonstrate its desire for a more effective standardization process, he said the Federal Government introduced the first ever Nigerian National Standardisation Strategy (NNSS) 2020 – 2022 as part of its economic diversification policy.
The strategy which was developed by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), is designed to identify priority areas to focus on, based on national needs assessment.
Working within the provisions of the Enabling Act, SON under his leadership, Salim stated that SON has been able to, through the Standards Council, designate, establish, and approve standards in respect of metrology, materials, commodities, structures, and processes for the certification of products in commerce and industry throughout Nigeria.
He said since his assumption of office in 2015, the organisation has recorded many achievements.
Some of them are the return of SON to the Ports, election of Nigeria into the standards management committee of the African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO),completion of the 2019/20 ARSO essay competition for undergraduates in Nigerian tertiary institutions, strategic plan to guide the activities and programmes of son from 2021 to 2024 was approved at the retreat, approval of 213 new Nigeria industrial standards for stakeholders/industry use and economic growth by the son governing council.
Others are re-equipping the national metrology institute, Enugu to protect Nigerian roads, promote fair trade, calibration of weigh bridges nationwide on federal government’s directives, relocation of SON state offices to more conducive and befitting accommodations in Jigawa, Kano, Sagamu, signing of MoU with Katsina state government on support for development and growth of MSMES and offering support to the health care sector through management systems training, certification and calibration of measuring equipment.
He added, “This celebration encompasses Book Launch, Exhibitions by Companies with MANCAP, awards to deserving staff and Companies who have distinguished themselves in strict adherence to SON ethical standards and regulatory frameworks.
“Just as the past has been presented to us on a golden plate, we shall strive to bring the future to generations to come in platinum by bequeathing to Nigeria, a faultless standardization custom that will stand the test of time.”