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The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) recently met with stakeholders of the shoemaking and cobbling sector to draft a standard for shoemaking and cobbling services at its laboratory complex in Ogba, Lagos.

In his opening remarks the Director General, Mallam Farouk Salim, welcomed all to the meeting, saying that the development of standards in Nigeria has been on-going since 1971 when SON was established and it has been working tirelessly to establish quality practice in production and service industries through standardisation and quality assurance, to ensure safety, consumer satisfaction and value for money for every product and service offered which will in turn give the nation a positive Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Director, Training Services Engr. Timothy Abner delivering the DG’s speech

The DG ably represented by the Director Training Services, Engr. Timothy Abner stated the meeting which is a hybrid one is necessitated by a pilot service standard focused at enhancing quality of service provided by Micro, Small and Medium enterprises (MSMEs) and other relevant institutions in shoemaking and cobbling industry, also it is one of the Artisanal standards aimed at quality of service offered by stakeholders in the sector.

He also noted that the draft standard for shoe making and cobbling services has been initiated since 2017 but could not be presented for approval due to limited input by stakeholders and the Covid-19 pandemic, as the importance of stakeholders could not be overemphasized as any standard that does not elicit enough interest from stakeholders cannot meet the prerequisite due process for technical meeting and Council approval.

According to Salim, Technical Committees constituted by SON are responsible for articulating Nigerian Industrial Standards (NIS). The Committee thus, decides what requirements are best in their general interest to determine the minimum requirements, while SON as a National Secretariat is to ensure the processes involved for obtaining the National position to align with International Best Practices based on the principles of standards development, which are Transparency, Openness, Impartiality, Consensus, Efficiency, Relevance and Consistency.

The SON helmsman said hopefully that consensus would be achieved from the diverse opinions raised by participants on the circulated draft as documented in the collated comments to conclude the standard, adding that on completion, the standards would receive its due attention for implementation, to give “Made in Nigeria” products and services, the leading edge in quality, customer satisfaction, sanitization of the sector and empowering of the service providers to make the most of their skills, create jobs and make profits.

Group photograph of Members of the Technical Committee after the meeting

The DG wished the participants fruitful deliberations and appreciated them for taking out time to participate in this important meeting. He noted that without their involvement in the decision-making process for standards development it would be impossible to avail Nigerian businesses the much-needed Nigeria Industrial Standards for manufacturing, service, trade and investment.

Similarly the Chairman of the TC ,Dr Jerry Tagang, expressed his pleasure to be appointed Chairman of the TC whilst seeking the support of secretariat and stakeholders to make his job a seamless one as standard development is an intricate one and every input and detail is important.

He therefore tasked all present and online to feel free to express themselves by way of contribution and comment on aspects of the draft standard so that at the end of the day they would be able to come up with a meaningful document that will serve as a guideline for producers and consumers in general, and also ensure that shoes produced in Nigeria are of top quality.

The hybrid meeting was convene to create an opportunity for some committee members to attend the meeting virtually.

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