In recognition of its consistent implementation of reforms aimed at making its services more easily accessible to the public, the Standards Organization of Nigeria(SON)has been ranked first in the Ease of Doing Business by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC).
Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Maryam Katagum made this known at the 50th anniversary celebration of SON, in Abuja.
The Minister acknowledged that the organisation has over the years developed into an effective National Standardisation body comparable to its peers with activities ranging from Standards Development, Testing, Measurement and Calibration, Training, Certification to Product Registration.
“In addition, the Organisation recently received an Award from the National Information and Technology Development Agency (NITDA) for Ease of Doing Business in the Information Technology Sector. These two recognitions are no doubt fitting anniversary gifts which will no doubt challenge the organisation to keep up its good work”.
She commended the positive impact of SON in the growth of the sector through Its activities such as the MANCAP scheme that she noted have contributed immensely to the increased acceptability of Nigerian made products in the international market.
“As one of the key Parastatals of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria has been a useful tool in the delivery of the Ministry’s mandate of facilitating trade and the growth of the Nigerian industrial sector.
“This is especially important with respect to the growth and the sustainability of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) which are the engines of economic growth in any economy and contribute nearly 50% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and over 80% of employment in Nigeria” Katagum said.
The Minister further noted SON’s role in ensuring the country’s economy especially the manufacturing sector benefits fully from the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
According to the Minister, the SON has reinforced the assurance of adherence to internationally accepted standards which the organization has ensured would eliminate technical barriers to trade, thereby making Nigeria’s products more competitive.
For his part, the Director-General, SON, Farouk Salim while acknowledging the achievements and strides of SON in the last 50 years, emphasized that his vision for the Organsation in the next 50 years is to be the foremost standardisation body in Africa and among the top ranking globally.
Optimistic that the vision is achievable, Salim however stressed that the Organisation will need to surmount severe challenges such as
Political Changes in Government policies and Foreign trade policy of some Governments that actively encourage exportation of substandard products.
The SON DG further observed that the organization would need to invest in efficient workforce with required skill set cutting edge technology to meet expected challenges.