FG urges private sector to partner with SON

In its quest to bolster investments, deepen trade and capacity of local industries, the Federal Government has called on the organised private sector to partner with the Standards organization of Nigeria (SON) in the setting up accredited testing laboratories across the country.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, who stated this at ground-breaking ceremony of SON’s ultra modern laboratory complex at Ogba in Lagos, stated that the enormous responsibility of implementing the Federal Government’s policies to curb the worrisome infl ux and distribution of substandard products has been placed on SON.

“All these activities rely to a large extent on results of relevant tests and analysis from well equipped and accredited laboratories. I therefore seize this opportunity to call on stakeholders and other development partners particularly the organised private sector to continue to support and collaborate with SON for the greater benefi t of the Nigerian consumers,” he said.

Anyim who was represented by the permanent secretary, Dr. Jamila Shuara, stated that the provision of better equipped laboratories for SON was part of the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan, to encourage foreign direct investments, SME growth as well as industrial cluster sectors to strengthen the purchasing capacity of the average Nigerian consumer.

Underscoring the enormous capital outlay for the implementation of the unique project and assured government support, the SGF stated that it was pertinent that SON and the federal ministry of industry, trade and investment continue to explore public-private-partnerships to upscale infrastructural development.

The director general of SON, Dr. Joseph Odumodu, stated that the completion of the project comprising of facilities for testing 22 various activities and the training of its staff will increase the agency’s effi ciency in delivering its mandate to the Nigerian public which is primarily to rid the country of substandard products.

“There is no internationally accredited laboratory in the country and in the sub-region presently but with this edifi ce, the name of Nigeria will be written among those countries with accredited laboratories,” he enthused.

He noted that setting of accredited laboratories would ensure self-sustainability, in that without the help of government in the next 5-10 years, the agency could afford to train its staff and keep the laboratories running very well.

He added that the SON will continue to ensure products’ traceability through its e-product registration initiative and that full enforcement will commence from month of October, warning that any product found wanting will be immediately removed from the market.

Chairman, governing council of SON, Abubakar Mustapha, noted that the agency requires stable funding to enable it really work. He also pledged the unfl inching support of the council to the DG’s campaign of zero tolerance to sub-standard products and the recent e-product registration exercise.

A representative of the manufacturers association of Nigeria (MAN) Adeyemi Foluonsho, congratulated SON on the laudable initiative and pledged manufacturers’ total support and cooperation in complying with the new e-products registration exercise.

The group managing director of Wempco Nigeria limited, Lewis Tung, noted that the development was good for the country’s image as it would send a strong signal to other countries that products bearing made-in-Nigeria were up to international standards.

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