The Federal Government recently commissioned in Bauchi State the North–East office of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and its well-equipped laboratory with a renewed commitment to economic diversification through ease of doing business.
Speaking during the commissioning at the North-East regional laboratory center in Bauchi, the Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Maryam Katagum said the facility was designed to ease product analysis and bring quality services closer to entrepreneurs in the region.
Katagum said the laboratory center was part of a well-conceived plan to bring the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) closer to testing services to meet their needs.
The minister stressed the need for the facility to focus on oil and gas laboratory analysis in view of the successful exploration at the Kolmani oil field located on the border between Bauchi and Gombe States.
She reiterated the government’s commitment to economic diversification through ease of doing business.
The Director-General/ Chief Executive SON, Mallam Farouk Salim said the lab center was part of strategies adopted to make organisational operations in tandem with its objectives.
He said the citing of the laboratory in Bauchi was a sequel to collaboration between the Bauchi government and relevant agencies, which placed it above other states in ease of doing business.
He mentioned that Bauchi state was the first state to offer SON land for the purpose of building an office complex and added that the decision to establish the laboratory in FCT and some states is to improve the turnaround time for the delivery of SON laboratory services, thereby protecting the integrity of the testing systems.
According to the Director General, the choice of Bauchi for the North East Regional Office was quite simple and straightforward, the state is well known for the excellent disposition of its people who are great entrepreneurs in diverse aspects of commerce and industry.
Salim noted that the laboratories in the complex are deliberately designed to meet the needs of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) major drivers for the economic development of our country.
He explained that the construction of the facility is, therefore, part of the holistic plan of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria to reduce the cost of business for MSMEs in the North East, thereby contributing to the Federal Government policy of ease of doing business.
The DG further explained that testing is a critical component of the conformity assessment program of the SON, which in turn is one of the Organisation pillars of the national quality infrastructure.
He assured the people of SON’s readiness to secure accreditation for the laboratories in the complex before the end of his tenure and said, the accreditation would ensure global acceptance of the test reports from this facility in accordance with the principle of tested once accepted globally.
The SON boss called on business owners to utilize the facility to standardize their products.
In his remarks, the Executive Governor of Bauchi State, Sen. Bala Mohammad, represented by his deputy, Alhaji Baba Tela pledged continued support to Federal Government’s programs for sustainable development in the state also adding that the building of a laboratory in the State, is a great development which will ensure quality standards of good and services and to protect customers and boast consumers confidence while promoting commerce.
He expressed his appreciation to the Hon. Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment and commended President Muhammadu Buhari for viable projects executed in the state.
The Chairman of the Bauchi State Council of Emirs, Alhaji Dr. Rilwanu Suleiman Adamu, in his goodwill message, commended SON for the milestone project and assured them of his total commitment.
MANCAP certificates were presented to three companies, Wusnami Bakery, A.M.Y Ochidah Bakery, and Zuka Food and Beverages.
In appreciation, the CEO of A.M.Y Ochidah Bakery, thanked SON on behalf of another recipient of the certificate, saying that the move will encourage them to do more and promote businesses in Nigeria knowing fully well that their contributions are not going unnoticed.
He also appealed to SON to seek out more avenues to support Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises in Bauchi State.
The Director, of North-East Operations, Alhaji Abba Adamu Bauchi ( Galajen Bauchi) thanked the Honorable Minister for finding time within her tight schedule to Grace the occasion, the Executive Governor of Bauchi State, the Director General of SON, and all stakeholders for their continuous support of the SON North – East regional operations.