Akpan Umoh, Uyo
The Director General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mallam Farouk Salim, has urged manufacturers to embrace standardization of their products to promote economic growth in the country.
Salim, who was represented by Mr Usman Mohammed, Director, South-South region of SON gave the advice during a one-day sensitisation workshop for stakeholders in Uyo Monday.
Our correspondent reports that the theme of the sensitisation workshop is: “Promoting Export and Economic Growth via Standardization and Quality Assurance.”
According to him, for there to be robust economic growth, the country must move away from being an import dependence and embrace export promotion.
The DG added that for products from manufacturers in the country to be accepted in international markets, manufacturers must ensure the quality and standard of the products meet global standards.
“The essence of this sensitisation today is to create awareness among our manufacturers and exporters on the importance of standardization of products.
“The major problem we are having is depending on imported goods. If you ask people why are they not buying Nigerian products, they will say it is not of standard.
“So, if our manufacturers do not gear up to do their products using the required standard and also carrying out necessary quality assurance procedures the quality of our products will not improve.
“That is why we are carrying out this sensitisation, to enlighten our manufacturers, educate them on the importance factor, which is standardization.
“The country is undergoing a period where our import dependence is too much, yet that is the major problem that our currency has continued to depreciate.
“There is no magic on earth you will do to improve the value of your currency if you do not improve your export drive. That is why we are going out to carry out this sensitisation to educate the general public,” Salim said.
Salim called on manufacturers across the country to avail themselves of the services provided by the Agency to improve the standard of their products for export.
He asked manufacturers to be informed of the importance of standardization and quality assurance in the production processes, both for locally manufactured products and products meant for export markets.
He said that SON is not just a regulatory body but also a trade facilitation agency responsible for ensuring that both locally and imported products meet the minimum requirements of the standards.
“Our major concern is not to close down companies but to advise them, give them the necessary information on how to improve the quality of their products.
“You know quality is a journey and it has no destination. Why some of our manufacturers are lagging behind is that they don’t move with time, people’s tastes change and that is what our manufacturers are supposed to know.
“As a manufacturer, you are supposed to move with time even go beyond the requirements of the customers. That is what will make your products move in the markets,” he said.
In his welcome remarks, the Akwa Ibom State Coordinator of SON, Mr Ismaila Lawal, said that the standards organisation of Nigeria has developed various standards to meet manufacturers’ demands.
Lawal said that the standards are developed to remove technical barriers to trade at National and international levels.
He called on manufacturers to contact the SON office to boost their businesses to become international champions, create jobs for the teeming youths, promote economic growth and prevent Nigeria from being a dumping ground.
One of the participants, Mr Ime Edoho, commended the DG of SON for organising the sensitisation workshop, adding that it would help his members in the state to improve the quality of their products.
Edoho, who is the State Chairman of the Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), said members of the association were having challenges sourcing for finance to improve the quality and standard of their products.
He said that the sensitisation workshop would enhance their knowledge of product standardization and quality assurance to promote economic growth in the country.