Malam Farouk Salim, the Director-General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), says said the newly inaugurated Regional Office of the organisation in Ekiti would curb the challenges of infrastructure deficit.
Salim made the assertions on Friday at the inauguration of SON’s regional office and laboratory complex in Ado-Ekiti.
He said the challenges of infrastructure deficit had, for a long time, limited the organisation’s operations.
The director-general said the inauguration also signified the resolve by SON’s management to bequeath a functional substructure, as part of the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) to every state of the federation.
According to him, SON is currently on the path of closing the infrastructure gaps identified with the wholesale completion of the office and laboratory projects.
He said that inauguration of the project was in consonance with the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) plan.
“Few weeks after I took over the mantle of leadership at SON, I was confronted with the level of infrastructure deficit which has limited the organisation’s operations.
“I also met ongoing office building projects all around the country, which had been embarked upon by the organisation to address the situations on ground.
“Following the promise I made on assumption of duty, to improve on the infrastructure I met on ground, I decided to continue with the good work started by my predecessors, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and paucity of funds, by completing SON office building projects, under construction all over the country.
“And, in some places, new ones were initiated where need be, with the support of the host state governments,” he said.
Salim said the infrastructure project would also assist to improve the organisation’s services, particularly at the grassroots.
“By bringing it closer to the people, especially in the areas of conformity, assessment and laboratory testing of products to relevant standards.
“Testing of products to relevant Nigerian Industrial Standards (NIS) and International Standards by SON laboratories, means products from Ekiti State and its environs can compete favourably locally,’’ he said.
The director-general said that this could be achieved through export at the international markets, especially with the ongoing implementation of the AfCTA agreement.
Salim said that SON was already seeking a partnership with Ekiti Government to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME).
“This is to effectively provide tailor-made solutions through implementation of standards and codes of practices for value addition, through quality assurance and good manufacturing practices,” he said.
The SON boss thanked Niyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment and Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, for their supports in making the project a reality.
Adebayo, in his keynote address, said the event was part of the Federal Government’s efforts toward building a society free from substandard products being imported or manufactured locally across the country.
He said that before now, hundreds of thousands of Nigerians’ lives had been cut short because of substandard and life-threatening products, being imported into the country.
The minister advised fraudsters and those engaging in production of substandard products to desist from doing so.
He said that SON by its amended Act of 2015 had been empowered to arrest, confiscate and prosecute any offender or group of offenders, who violate the laws relating to standards of goods and services in the country.
Also, Fayemi said inauguration of the office and laboratory complex would boost socioeconomic development and increase trade and investment opportunity in the state.
“We will not compromise standard, and we are going to continue to support SON in its regulatory responsibility.
“I want to assure the Director-General of SON, that the request for the rehabilitation of the access road to the regional office, will be given top attention,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that present at the inauguration were the Oluyin of Iyin-Ekiti, Oba Adeniyi Ajakaiye, Chief Olushola Olarewaju and Chief Ejemo of Ado-Ekiti, who represented of the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe.