The Director-General of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Osita Aboloma has said that the agency would continue to intensify efforts aimed at checkmating influx of substandard products into the country, across major points of entry.
Speaking during the inauguration of SON office complex at the Seme Border, Aboloma said the opening of the office would tremendously help SON’s surveillance operations at the country’s land borders, noting that a sizeable amount of substandard products found their way into the country via land borders.
He also commended other agencies of the federal government with offices at the border posts for the level of cooperation which they had forged thus far, expressing the optimism that such collaboration would continue.
According to him, the SON newly commissioned office was a product of the robust collaborative relationship with sister agencies, adding that some of the materials were even donated by stakeholders.
“All the departments of SON with different roles towards combating influx of substandard goods are now here. We have our customer service, sampling and other departments here to serve Nigeria well. This is also part of our effort at creating enabling environment for ease of doing business in Nigeria”, Aboloma said.
The Deputy Comptroller, Nigerian Customs Service, (NCS), Jubo Mohammed, commended the management of SON for establishing the facility, saying that it would go a long way in reducing the influx of substandard goods into the country.
He promised to enhance the collaboration between Son and NCs as well as other stakeholders in the interest of the nation’s economy.
“This will enable SON staff to conduct their duties in the most convenient way. I am assuring you of the cooperation of the NCS in achieving your mandate,” he said.
Aboloma promised that the SON would continue to review and update its standards to ensure goods and services conform to the minimum requirements of the Nigerian Industrial Standards (NIS).
He said these were in line with general retooling exercise of the SON targeted at efficient and enhanced service delivery.
According to him, standardisation is a continuous process; We have to keep on renewing and updating some of them, adding that the SON recently cleared a backlog of 114 standards to help people carry out their duties of production of goods and services efficiently.
Going forward, he said SON would be reviewing standards for soft drinks, food and other related products.
Aboloma pointed out that a major emphasis in the agency’s bid to diversify Nigeria’s economy was by upgrading standards for agricultural products for export.
“We have a novel product that provides standards for SME services in our effort to retool SMEs. In collaboration with stakeholders, we are providing standards for saloons, bakery and other things because SMEs are key to industrial development in Nigeria” he said
Also, the Director, Inspectorate and Compliance, Engineer. Bede Obayi, said the commissioning was remarkable in the history of the SON especially as it concerned its statutory functions of ensuring that goods coming into the country were properly monitored to ensure the safety of lives and properties of Nigerians.
“This edifice is a manifestation of all the efforts of both government and stakeholders that have yearned for this kind of facility. The drive and support of the Director-General towards ensuring that SON has this kind of edifice is highly commendable. It is now obvious that SON is fully on ground at Seme border,” he said.
A stakeholder, Chairman, Jascun, Investment Nigeria, Jachire Nwankwo, said: “We never knew SON would complete this facility in a record time. The Director-General has demonstrated quality leadership while the stakeholders have provided quality followership and we can never stop.
“We want to use this medium to charge the management of SON to have a close relationship with stakeholders by way of regular interactive sessions. This will help to combat the influx of substandard goods and we are also assuring you of our support to helping you achieve this feat,” he said.