Economy bleeding from importation of sub-standard goods, SON boss cries out

By Victoria Ojeme and Fortune Eromosele, Abuja

The Director-General, Standards Organisation Of Nigeria, SON, Mallam Farouk Salim, has said that for Nigeria to curb the menace of substandard products, the nation must surmount the challenge of low disposable income that drives purchase of substandard products.

Salim spoke on Monday, during the 50th anniversary celebration of SON in Abuja. He further identified the challenge of foreign trade policy of some governments that actively encourage exportation of substandard products.

He said, “while acknowledging the modest achievements and strides of SON in the last 50 years, my vision for the organisation in the next 50 years is to be the foremost standardised body in Africa and among the top ranking globally.

“While this vision is achievable, the organisation will need to surmount several challenges such as changes in government policies like the often removal of the organisation at points of entry. Huge population growth with limited resources giving rise to communal restiveness.

“Limited research and development activities to keep pace with rapid innovation in the society. The likelihood of harsh weather and increased natural disaster occasioned by global warming. Increase in litigation against activities of the organisation.”

He added that: “To mitigate the expected challenges, we need to evolve as a dynamic and innovative body, investing in the following critical areas; efficient workforce with the required skill set, cutting edge technology, appropriate and strategic infrastructure, enhanced meaningful collaboration with stakeholders.”

In her keynote address, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Maryam Katagum, said SON played a crucial role in the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA.

This was even as she assured the Organisation of the Ministry’s continued support in achieving this feat.

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