Nigeria: SON initiates policies for MSMEs to deliver standard goods to economy

MINA Blog- The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) said it had instituted policies that would ensure that the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) impact on the economy with standard goods.

Malam Farouk Salim, Director-General of SON said on Thursday at the agency’s special day at the 36th Edition of the Lagos International Trade Fair that MSMEs were of great importance to SON as they are key drivers of the nation’s economic development.

The fair organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) had its theme as: ”Connecting Business and Creating Values”.

Salim represented by Mr Fred Akingbesote, Regional Director, SON South West, noted that the fair offered great opportunities for SON to showcase its impacts in the growth of businesses in Nigeria particularly the MSMEs.

He added that MSMEs contribute to 48 per cent of national Gross Domestic Product, account for 96 per cent of businesses and 84 per cent of employment with a total number of about 17.4 million.

He said, “The sector has played and will continue to play significant roles in the growth, development and industrialisation of the country.

“In recognition of MSMEs as the drivers of the nation’s economy, SON has put in place a policy that ensures that MSMEs and other relevant stakeholders are involved in standards development process through inclusion in technical committees for elaborating standards.

“The whole essence is to create an enabling environment for the sector to be part of the standardisation process so that products emanating from their system would meet global standard,” he said.

He listed some of these policies and initiatives as: Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) which undertakes periodic and regular factory inspections, sampling laboratory testing to implement certification of locally manufactured products.

“ This is done so that products that are manufactured or produced in Nigeria compete globally.

“Market surveillance to ascertain quality and gather data on products performance in the markets, Standards Organisation of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP) to confirm quality of product as meeting requirement of the Nigeria Industrial standard before they are imported into Nigeria.

“Product registration is also done to confirm product quality and maintain inventory of products in the market for traceability and Standard enforcement to support its existing Standards Enforcement regime as well as Inspectorate and Compliance activities,” he said.

Salim added that the application of standards in business whether manufacturing or production was to create value and this would make businesses connect seamlessly irrespective of the location of such enterprises.

He said that as a standards body, they were urging all manufacturers and producers including importers and exporters to take advantage of the services they offer to better their businesses.

He noted that SON would not hesitate to use the full arm of the law against any person or group of persons found sabotaging the efforts of the organisation.

Earlier, Mrs Toki Mabogunje, President LCCI, noted that there was need to protect the domestic production of the country ecosystem against cheap and fake products smuggled into the country.
She urged SON to remain resolute on the zero tolerance to sub-standard products in Nigeria.

“The menace of sub-standard and fake products can be very devastating in a countries productivity and safety.

“I commend the director-general of SON and top management for the persistent fight against the persistent of sub-standard goods

“The Lagos Chamber is very well available for all possible collaboration in the institution of industry standard by companies in Nigeria,” she said.

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