Malam Salim Farouk (2nd left) at the SON 50th Anniversary Celebration in Abuja, FCT

SON shines as government lauds market regulator at 50th Anniversary

*Maryam Katagum, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, commends the Standards Organisation of Nigeria on 50th Anniversary, says the Organisation has been useful in delivering the Ministry’s mandate of facilitating trade and growth of industrial sector of the economy 

*The Organisation has undergone tremendous transformation, says Farouk Salim, Director-General of SON

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

The Federal Government  has lauded the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) for its outstanding performance in the country.

ConsumerConnect learnt Mrs. Maryam Katagum, Honourable Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, gave the commendation at the SON 50th Anniversary celebration November 28, 2022, in Abuja, FCT.

Katagum said the achievements of the organisation became glaring when it was ranked first in the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC).

The Minister also disclosed the organisation  recently received an award from the National Information and Technology Development Agency (NITDA) for Ease of Doing Business in the Information Technology (IT) sector of the Nigerian economy.

She noted that the two recognitions are fitting anniversary gifts, which will no doubt challenge the organisation to keep up its good work.

Katagum commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the support given to the ministry, agency report stated.

The Minister also said: “The Ministry has benefitted immensely from the strong support of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, a strong advocate of the growth of MSMEs.

“It is this leadership that has positioned the ministry to provide SON with the support that has resulted in its achievements in the recent past,” said the Minister.

She assured SON of the Ministry’s continued support and guidance as it looked forward to the next 50 years.

Katagum stated: “The organisation has over the years developed into an effective national standardisation body comparable to its peers.

“The activities of SON range from standards development, testing, measurement and calibration, training, and certification to product registration.”

The Minister hinted SON has been a useful tool in the delivery of the ministry’s mandate of facilitating trade and the growth of the industrial sector.

The contribution of SON particularly to the growth and sustainability of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) was commendable, it said.

Katagum said SON had contributed immensely to the increased acceptability of Nigerian made products in the international market.

“One of the goals of this administration is that the country’s economy especially the manufacturing sector benefits fully from the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

“The role of SON in achieving this is obvious as the assurance of adherence to internationally accepted standards which SON ensures will eliminate technical barriers to trade making our products more competitive.”

The Organisation has undergone tremendous transformation: Salim

Speaking on the occasion earlier, Malam Farouk Salim, Director-General of SON, said that the organisation, in the last 50 years, had followed through trade facilitation and promotion of government’s economic policies and agenda.

Salim said from operating with about 10 members of staff, the organisation had undergone tremendous transformation.

The SON Chief said the organisation had undergone various transition processes, including expansion to cover areas including ports inspection, duty drawback, type certification and testing among others.

Recent achievements

Salim said on his assumption of office, the SON had entered into agreements with state governments for development of MSMEs in Nigeria.

He also noted that his leadership had ensured sustained stakeholder engagements towards ensuring that industries remained competitive to secure employment in the country.

Salim noted that other milestones, include expansion of the structure of the Organisation to reduce stagnation and staff discontentment and capacity development of staff through continued training.

Over 600 staff have been trained in 2022 alone, representing about 35 percent of the workforce, said he.

The Director-General stated that his administration as well equipped regional laboratories, funded existing contract, and provided operational vehicles among others.

Salim further stated: “My vision for the organisation in the next 50 years is to be the foremost standardisation body in Africa and among the top ranking globally.

“While this vision is achievable, the organisation would have to surmount severe challenges such as changes in government policies.

“Also, we need to evolve as a dynamic and innovative body investing efficient workforce with the required skill set, cutting edge technology, appropriate and strategic infrastructure among others.

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