SON Plans to Drive MSME Growth through Standardisation


Crusoe Osagie

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has announced plans to boost Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) operations in the country through standardisation, noting that it has over the years developed competencies in various international management system standards to make MSMEs competitive and attractive at the global market.

The Director General, SON, Mr. Aboloma Osita, said the standards body has developed standards in quality, environmental, food safety management and the likes all aimed at national capacity development and certification of systems for continual improvement.

Osita during a courtesy visit to the industrial cluster under the National Incubation Centre to mark the 2016 world standards day celebration in Lagos, pointed out that the agency’s visit to was in furtherance of its commitment to promote standardisation among MSMEs nationwide, maintaining that effective collaboration with relevant stakeholders would be deployed to achieve this feat.

“The theme “Standards brings trust” is apt, because when you adhere to standards, your products will be trusted and your businesses will grow. We have come here to identify with this up and coming entrepreneurs so as to catch them young and for them to also grow with the culture of standardisation and quality assurance so that people will trust and patronise them,” he said.
According to him, “In doing this, we also need to check against unfair competition with unscrupulous people that produces substandard goods. We are also here to protect them in this our effort in diversification from single product. We will go to any length to prevent substandard goods from coming in, because we want to make doing business in Nigeria easy as long as you are doing the right thing.”

He called on all stakeholders in standardisation to partner SON to promote the quality culture in the country, saying that this can be achieved through voluntary implementation of national and international standards in its bid to improve lives through standards.

He noted that the theme of this year’s celebration focuses on the trust associated with the value, safety and durability which international standards bring to bear on products and services.
The acting Director General, MAN, represented by the Assistant Director, MAN, Mr. Joseph Emouke, said manufacturers have already keyed into the SON’s mandate to achieve zero tolerance for substandard goods in the country.

According to him, some of its members have already began to enjoy the benefits of the standards body’s programmes such as the MANCAP and SONCAP, saying as adequate attention is being given to imported goods, such treatment should be equally given to locally produced goods.

“We are doing very well in MAN and some of our products are now being faked in the country. I want to use this medium to say to you that unscrupulous manufacturers that are found wanton in terms of failing to meet standards, are not members of MAN, because membership of MAN is voluntary and not mandatory,” he added.

The chairman, National Association of Small Scale Industrialist (NASSI), Mr. Kuti George, said Nigeria must ensure that the issue of standard is pursued to favour the country, saying that different countries of the world adopts standards that impacts positively with their economy.
He said entrepreneurs are faced with a lot of challenges that developed nations do not experience, saying that access to market, funding, infrastructure, technologies are challenges still faced by businessmen and women in the country.