Mallam Farouk Salim the Director-General of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has reiterated the organisation’s support for local manufacturers and made-in-Nigeria goods in playing critical roles in providing long-term solutions to the nation’s security and economic woes.
The SON helmsman asserted this during a whistle-stop working visit to four manufacturing companies at different locations within Port-Harcourt recently as part of the mandate of the organisation in engaging stakeholders on matters of Standards and Quality assurance.
In separate meetings with the Chief Executives of Notore Nigeria Plc, Indorama Nigeria Plc, Bua Group and Dufil Nigeria Limited at the different factory locations in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the DG SON’s underlying message in his remarks, is that the importation and patronage of substandard goods are killing the Nigeria manufacturing base and fuelling insecurity.
According to Salim, many manufacturing companies have closed down in the past few years, because they cannot compete with the influx of substandard goods imported into the country and the insatiable preference of some Nigerians for cheap substitutes of products readily manufactured in Nigeria which are actually of higher quality.
Describing the nexus between substandard goods, closure of companies and insecurity in the nation, Salim disclosed that the lack of patronage and relevant infrastructure has resulted in factory closures with resultant unemployment which has led many into the crime of banditry, terrorism and kidnapping.
Salim stated that if the teeming youths were gainfully employed, the incidence of these violent crimes will be minimal because there would be available disposable income for citizens to meet basic needs therefore, the lure for crime will be reduced.
The DG, consequently, advised that Nigerians should stop the importation and patronage of substandard goods and rather look inwards to patronize quality goods made by Nigerian manufacturers to reduce crime and grow the local economy.
The DG also used the fora with the Chief Executives of the companies to enlighten the CEOs of SON’s competencies in the areas of Testing products at the organisation’s laboratory complex comprising of thirty-eight individual labs, and the accredited Food, Electrical/Electronics and Chemical Technology labs as well as facilitating world-class ISO Management System Certification and other ISO training through the organisation’s internationally accredited Training Center.
According to Salim, the Organisation apart from the Manufacturing Conformity is ready to collaborate with the industry in improving its products and services by offering world-class training in Management Systems, Health and Occupational Hazard, Environmental management systems, Food Safety Management Systems and many courses at very affordable in the local currency and executable on on-site for the companies
The DG mentioned other interventions, such as in the area of Metrology which the Organisation is the Statutory custodian of the Standards fulfilling the requirements of providing a National Quality Infrastructure (NQI), with an improved capacity of calibrating weighing equipment through its newly acquired mobile calibration trucks.
The DG added that these calibration trucks can be dispatched to any part of the country to effectively calibrate weighbridges and weighing equipment in factories and manufacturing plants for companies to meet quality assurance targets.
According to Salim, all these and more are the interventions SON has been executing to protect our industries and to ensure they remain functional in a healthy, competitive atmosphere in order to boost the nation’s socio-economic fortunes.