The Director General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) Mallam Farouk Salim has said that the agency has initiated moves to increase automation and digitisation of its operations to enhance productivity for effective service delivery.
Salim disclosed this at the 2023 Strategic Leadership Retreat for Management Staff of the agency with the theme: “Improving the Effectiveness and Efficiency of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) Through Digitalisation.” in Uyo on Tuesday.
He stated that over the years, the organisation had been making efforts to digitise all processes and procedures in an attempt to make it a world class standards body.
He said SON had already strengthened its ICT department as a fulcrum to digitise and automate its operations.
According to him, Conformity Assessment Programme Scheme, Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme, Ports and Borders Processes, Library Services, Payment System and National Registry for Conformity Assessment Practitioners have been digitised.
“Digitalisation is a key driver of standardisation and economic growth in both developed and developing countries across the world.
“Digitalising the public sector operations and services like our organisation enhances rapid industrialisation which in turn, will create jobs, reduce poverty and insecurity in our country.
“I have set up a modernisation committee, comprising representatives of relevant departments which I personally chair to drive our ICT roadmap.
“We are in the process of engaging the services of Webb Fountain, an ICT Consultant to critically review our infrastructure with a view to addressing them based on the recommendation of the committee,” Salim said.
He, however, stated that the retreat was to build synergy amongst management staff, developing roadmap to address challenges of digitalising the entire organisation, among others.
He urged participants to actively contribute and provide deep insights into the issues to be discussed and come up with a roadmap to fully digitise the organisation.
In his remarks, the Director General of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr Inuwa Kashifu in his keynote address, commended SON for making the right move to digitalise the organisation to cutdown clumsiness during operations.
Kashifu, who was represented by Dr Aristotle Onumo, Acting Director, Corporate Planning and Strategy, NITDA, said resistance to change to digital ways and inadequate critical infrastructure like high-speed internet broadband were some of the setbacks of digitalisation in the country.
He expressed confidence that the new initiative and collaboration with NITDA would also help the organisation to reduce human workload, increase transparency, reduce redundancy and increase revenue generation in SON.
He, however, said that inadequate trained human resources and inadequate funding to procure digital equipment and infrastructure were challenges confronting digitisation operations.