SON targets revival of ailing industries with 2015 Act
•Canvasses firms’ integration of new standards for operational efficiency
By creating an enabling environment to attract both local and foreign direct investments into the country and punishing importers of sub-standard goods, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has said it hopes to revive ailing industries and encourage local production under its new Act.
The Directo- General, SON, Osita Aboloma, explained that with the proper implementation of the SON Act 2015, the business community and industries would grow, bringing about massive job creation and employment, while also creating a market for certified Made-in Nigeria products globally.
The SON boss stated that concerted efforts are being made to bring back the industries that hitherto dotted the landscape of Lagos, Aba, Port-Harcourt, Ibadan, Benin City, Kano, Kaduna and other cities in Nigeria, stressing that the standards body is currently deploying the use of standardisation and quality assurance to boost Nigeria’s industrialisation drive.
Aboloma who was represented by the Director, Inspectorate and Compliance, SON, Engr. Bede Obayi, at a stakeholders’ sensitisation programme on SON Act 2015 in Lagos, said the essence of Ease of Doing Business initiative by federal government is to drive business and industrial growth across the country, stating that creating an enabling environment would promote steady growth and development.
“With standardisation, we want to ensure industrial growth, we need to make Nigeria emerge as an investment destination and hub in sub-Saharan Africa. With solid industrial base, Nigeria could become the next global economic powerhouse, following the footsteps of the Asian tigers. We want to attain economic diversification from oil to non-oil economy via rapid industrial growth.
“We, at SON, want to empower and strengthen the growth of MSMEs. We have already started doing this, we are granting waivers to over one million SMEs on their products registration and certifications. We must endeavour to put in place structures and policies that would enable us to be exporting finished goods than raw materials,” he said.
Also speaking at the event, the Director General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Muda Yusuf, said issues of non compliance to standards is an ethical issue, saying that unfortunately for the country the unethical players are crowding out the ethical players.
“Those who comply with the rules and quality are increasingly finding it difficult to survive as business people and I believe this is one of the major things SON is out to correct. They should create an environment where those who comply with the law are able to do business profitably as against what we have presently,” he said.
Meanwhile, to improve operational efficiency and save costs in daily processes, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), has introduced two anti-corruption tools, – Nigerian Industrial Standards anti-bribery management systems (NIS ISO 37001:2016) and Good governance (NIS 902:2017).
Speaking at the presentation ceremony in Lagos, the Director-General of the agency, Osita Aboloma said the new standards would help the current administration’s efforts to reduce corruption in the country to the barest minimum.He noted that fighting systematised corruption in the country could be a herculean task but added that the two standards would be of tremendous help, especially because they are proactive in the actions.
“Since bribery and the way organizations are governed are the most contributory factors to corruption, therefore these standards offer the country with an opportunity to use the global tools to support the fight against corruption”, he said.
According to him, the two standards could be imbedded in firms’ and organisations’ operational processes and so that breaches are prevented ahead of time rather than the other way round.“These standards can be applied to any organisation’s type or nature. They will assist you prevent bribery in your systems and minimize bribery, mitigate possible lawsuit, demonstrate to customers and stakeholders a robust anti-bribery management system”.
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