By Crusoe Osagie
There is a huge potential for stimulating multi-million dollar investments into Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinder manufacturing in Nigeria using the instruments of standardisation and quality assurance, the Director General of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mr. Osita Aboloma, has said.
Aboloma, who made the disclosure in Lagos, stated that standardisation is one of the best ways of attracting foreign direct investment into the country and sustaining them by providing confidence and competitive edge to products, quality assurances to consumers and meeting regulatory requirements seamlessly.
He said the pursuit of this objective informed his recent visits to some firms and organisations to preach the gospel of standardisation and how it could help to improve their operations for greater competitiveness through strict adherence to standards requirements.
According to him, SON’s stringent procedure for the importation of LPG cylinders has encouraged increase in local production. The certification of the locally produced cylinders through the mandatory conformity assessment (MANCAP) scheme would provide the necessary assurances to consumers, thus encouraging greater patronage. “There is stiff monitoring and regulation of cylinders to ensure safety and that consumers have value for their money.”
The SON Director General stated that the increased patronage would lead to improved capacity utilisation and create more job opportunities for our teeming youths in line with the diversification agenda of the federal government.’’
The LPG cylinder sector has huge potentials for job creation because of the production and ancillary chains. It will also create easy access to cylinders, which would add greater value to the economy and promote a cleaner environment,’’ he said
He disclosed that SON was going to call a stakeholders’ meeting with existing manufacturers, importers and prospective ones soon to ensure that the structure and production processes are put on the path of continual improvement through the diligent application of standards.
Aboloma reiterated the plans of his organisation to replicate the initiative in so many other sectors to encourage more foreign direct investment as according to him, domestic production would help the current administration’s change mantra, especially in achieving economic diversification from oil into agriculture and manufacturing, thus adding greater value to the lives of Nigerians.
According to the SON boss, the government was happy with companies having thousands of Nigerians under their employ, and would support such companies to do their legitimate businesses without stress.
He was categorical that part of his agenda is to ensure proper monitoring and mentoring of the various sectors through regular inspection visits and suggestion of more effective and efficient ways of contributing to the economic development of the country through proper application of standards.
The SON boss reiterated his Management’s resolve to strengthen the operations of small and medium enterprises, saying with the application of the right standards, products of Nigerian SMEs would become more competitive locally and across borders.
He promised to expand the opportunity for testing of more agriculture and agro-allied products in SON’s accredited laboratories.