SENATE COMMITTEE ON INDUSTRY TO ASSIST SON IN THE FIGHT AGAINST SUBSTANDARD PRODUCTS
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has over the years developed standards for the entire productive sector of the economy as could be seen in the mechanical/automotive and the oil and gas sectors, building and construction materials where remarkable achievements have been made especially on some automotive components, LPG Cylinders and reinforcement bars.
Director General of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) Mr. Osita Aboloma stated this when the Senate Committee on Industry led by its Chairman Distinguished Senator Sam Egwu visited the organization as part of oversight functions.
Mr. Aboloma said “a major milestone in standards development in Nigeria is that prior to 1986, the Nigerian market was flooded with substandard imported electric cables, but SON in collaboration with indigenous cable manufacturers put stringent measures in place to ensure that the requisite standards for cables made in Nigeria were developed and complied with, adding that the result of that painstaking effort is that cables made in Nigeria are adjudged to be among the best in the world.”
He informed the Committee that the accreditation of SON’s Food and Chemical Technology Laboratories is one of SON’s efforts at creating an enabling infrastructure for the growth of non-oil sector and, to good effect, the diversification of the economy, and hinted that the SON laboratory project at Ogba in Lagos when completed will house well over forty different Laboratories.
According to the Director General, the accreditation of the Laboratories has increased the competitiveness of Nigeria’s export trade particularly agricultural produce, and is expected to considerably enhance Nigeria’s GDP.
Mr. Aboloma solicited for the return of SON to the Ports as according to him the reasons advanced for SON’s removal from the ports are no longer tenable as clearance procedures are now done electronically via the Nigeria Customs Integrated Customs Information System (NICIS) platform.
He concluded by saying “as modest as these achievement have been, the organization is still faced with several challenges.”
In his address, the Chairman of the Committee Distinguished Senator Sam Egwu thanked and commended the management of SON for the warm reception accorded them, but urged the organization to be at par with its counter parts across the globe, promising to partner with SON in order to take the organization to the next level in the fight against substandard products in Nigeria.
Senator Egwu was particularly happy with the DG on the way he has carried the organisation so far, and urged him to do more in order to improve the lots of the staff in terms of training, adding that his committee will do all within its legislative powers to assist SON.
Also speaking, another member of the Committee Distinguished Senator Barnabas Gemade expressed his feelings on the office accommodation of the organization which he said was not a befitting one based on the status of SON, however he expressed his happiness on the caliber of staff he saw which he said can take SON and indeed Nigeria to the next level.
Senator Gemade frowned at the activities of some unscrupulous Nigerians and their foreign cohorts who see nothing bad on the quality of products they import to Nigeria, and blamed the proliferation of substandard products in Nigeria on such people.
He encouraged the DG to do more in the fight against the influx of substandard goods in the country, and re-echoed the willingness of the Committee to assist SON in that direction.