Minister Charges SON to Bail Nigeria out of Recession

SON can help Nigeria overcome recession
The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajjia Aisha Abubakar has challenged the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to rise up to the challenge of helping Nigerian get out of the current economic recession facing her.

This it could do by making available to Nigerians, the requisite technical skills and competence which it has developed over the years. He made the declaration in Lagos today, at the closing ceremony of the 2017 management retreat of the SON.

The minister who was represented by Mr. Daniel Asapokhai, Executive Secretary of the Financial reporting Council said SON had, over the years, developed a lot of technical skills and competences and that it should deploy towards the development of the Nigerian economy. “You need to bring these to bear on your service delivery to Nigerians particularly in promoting the diversification of the nation’s economy”.

The minister assured the SON that the federal government through the federal ministry of industry, trade and investment would continue to provide her the necessary support and encouragement to serve the Nigerian people diligently.

He said the SON DG and his team need to make themselves proud business facilitators and positive change agents so that they could emerge as the most facilitative agency in 2017.

The DG of the SON, Mr Osita Aboloma while speaking at the retreat, described the theme of repositioning for better performance, as very relevant, expressing his optimism that the staffers were now better positioned to deliver as ambassadors of standards.

He expressed the confidence that they would be able to help Nigeria out of recession through improved performance, adding that the SON, with the collaboration of sister agencies had done well thus far.

Aboloma said the job of checkmating substandard products was not an easy one, but something that required consistency and concerted efforts to tackle.
“This is why I implore Nigerians, if you see something say something, at the end of the day, we must get it right as a Nation”.

Earlier, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and former Attorney-General in Plateau State, Prof Dakas C. Dakas, advised against politicization of the new law empowering the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to prosecute substandard products importers, manufacturers and distributors in the country.

Professor Dakas who spoke this morning at the management retreat of the SON in Lagos, said instead, the law should be faithfully implemented so it would achieve its target.

He said the diligent implementation of the new SON act would not only strengthen the operations of the agency, but also safeguard lives and property in the country. The prosecution of offenders under the law would act as a deterrent to the malaise of substandard products.

He called on the relevant agencies of government to ensure that the new law was faithfully implemented, as that was the only way that its benefits could be optimized.

Dakas who was Director of Research at the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) from 2012-2014, said the law should be commended in the light of the fact that influx of substandard products had become a major problem in the country.

He said now, those who circulate substandard products would know that it was no more business as usual, as punitive sanctions awaited them.
He made reference to the recent haul of substandard tyres valued at about N5billion in Lagos, saying the damage would have been colossal had the SON not intercepted the products. Incidences of such a nature, he said, were additional pointers that the new law was welcome.

“So, it is a milestone that the law had been enacted. There may however be areas to look into again, and this management retreat provides a platform for that”, he said.

Professor Dakas also expressed the hope that the National Assembly would continue to work in concert with the SON to ensure that the problem of substandard products was effectively contained in the country.

He said that for now there appears to be much politics and rivalry going on amongst the agencies rather than collaboration, which is extremely important for success, as no critical agency of the federal government could actually work in isolation.

“My expectation is that instead of inter-agency rivalry, there should be more inter agency collaboration. There is a lot of room for everyone, and I think, it is for all of us to focus on the bigger picture in the interest of the Nigerian public”.dg-and-es-frc