R-L Chairman, Governing Council, Mr. Edet Akpan and SON DG, Mr. Osita Aboloma during the inaugural meeting.

The new Governing Council of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) held its inaugural meeting at the Corporate Headquarters of the organization in Wuse Zone 7, Abuja a day after its inauguration by the Honorable Minister, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI), Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah.

The Honourable Minister, who is also the Chairman of the Standards Council in his opening address to the members and SON management team, described the period of the Council’s appointment as a critical point, when the country’s economy is being diversified from mono product to agro-allied; solid minerals development; tourism; information and communication technology (ICT); light manufacturing and services in order to grow and develop it.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary, FMITI, Mr. Edet Akpan, the Minister stated that Nigeria’s balance of trade accounts are mostly in deficit with her international trading partners, coupled with the major challenge of reject of Nigeria’s export commodities in the International markets, including Europe and the Americas.

While describing SON as a major agency championing the implementation of the National Quality Infrastructure framework of the Government, Mr. Akpan stated that the organisation’s collaboration with the Weights and Measures Department of the FMITI and development partners like the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in establishing the National Metrology Institute in Enugu is worthy of commendation.

According to him, finding a lasting and enduring solution to the continued influx of substandard products into the country is an onerous task confronting members of the SON Governing Council.

“The SON already have several laboratories which need to be replicated across the states of the federation for more effective implementation and enforcement of Standards as well as quality assurance initiatives.

The Governing Council Chairman said the Organisation will carry out its activities based on the Councils Terms of Reference (ToR) and within the framework of the five Strategic Pillars of the Ministry’s policy namely;

i)            Creating Enabling Business Environment for Industry, Trade and Investment;

ii)           Implementation of the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP);

iii)        Championing the cause of MSMEs as means of creating Jobs and achieving inclusive growth;

iv)        Proactively attracting long term local and Foreign Investment;

v)          Facilitate the integration of local businesses into the regional and global value chains (Market Access).

He emphasized that the Governing Council will be guided in its operations by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Act establishing the Standards Organisation of Nigeria and existing extant rules as well as guidelines.

“As a Governing Council, we will use the instrumentality of the statutory committees in the SON enabling Act to carry out our functions and where necessary, create other committees on ad-hoc basis to further ensure the achievement of the goals of the organization” he said.

In his welcome address to the Council members, SON Director General, Mr. Osita Aboloma stated that the Management and staff hadeagerly looked forward to the appointment and inauguration of the Council to give impetus to the policy direction of SON as provided in its enabling Act No. 14 of 2015.

According to him, the caliber of the members will provide the Management with the necessary support and encouragement to step up its act in accelerating the achievement of the mandate of the organization as clearly set out in the Act.

He informed the Council of a rich repertoire of competencies within the organization that compares favorably with similar standards institutes in the African continent and around the world and assured members of the utmost cooperation of Management as well as the provision of the enabling environment to carry out their duties to the organization in particular and the Nation at large.

Mr. Aboloma enumerated some of the flagship quality assurance programmes of the organization and hinted at the planned introduction of a unifying scheme “Product Authentication Mark” to assure genuine manufacturers, importers and consumers of the genuineness of products at the point of purchase as well as confront the age long challenges of product cloning and counterfeiting.

He disclosed the of the daunting challenge the organization faces, in carrying out its mandate at the Nation’s entry points in spite of the clear provisions of the SON Act.

Other Council members at the inaugural meeting include, Messrs. Dr. Halilu Hamma (North East), Prince Adesegun Olanibi (South West), Chief Mrs. Kate Nomhwange (North Central, and Alhaji Abdullahi Onyema (South East).

Also at the meeting were Chief Chris Dirisu (South South), Prophet Jones Ode Erue (South South) and Mr. Mashood Oluku Lawal (Federal Ministry of Health).

Other institutions represented on the new SON Governing Council are Federal Ministries of Defence; Agriculture; Industry, Trade and Investment; Transportation as well as Power, Works and Housing.

Another cross section of SON Management Committee members at the inaugural meeting. DG, SON Mr. Osita Aboloma (far right).

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