SON, MAN Partner to Drive SME Growth


Crusoe Osagie

Acknowledging that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) play a veritable role in economic growth and development of any nation, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) have partnered to capture SMEs at the bottom of the pyramid in Nigeria.

According to the Director General, SON, Mr. Aboloma Osita, the collaboration will identify areas where small business owners who do not have the capacity to cope under the harsh economic environment, get waivers and concessions to support their businesses in order to create job opportunities and wealth for the country.
The Director General during a courtesy visit by MAN members, explained that both organisations although have an existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the document does not meet the present day reality.

In his words, “This collaboration will afford both organisations to rub minds and know how we can rearrange the terms of our existing MoU to meet our present day reality. We will need to review some of our rates to accommodate more SMEs at the bottom of the pyramid. We will look at areas where we can help these SMEs who cannot survive the present day realities with waivers and concession. We are going to be focused on mainly SMEs and other sectors you come up with. We will also key into the government’s agenda which is ease of doing business thereby making life easy for people doing business in this recession.”

The SON boss said the country is going through a difficult time and would require lots of sacrifice and thinking outside of the box to get the nation out of the economic downturn, saying that partnerships such as this is the bedrock of Nigeria’s industrial revolution.

“MAN is no doubt the most coordinated and organised partnership we have in Nigeria. It is the bedrock of Nigeria’s industrial revolution. Our duty as an agency is in two folds, which is to encourage members of MAN by protecting your investment while also giving guidance to quality assurance and also safeguarding you from unfair competition from influx of substandard goods,” he said.

He said SON will establish a technical committee that will comprise both SON and MAN staff to come up with a more practical MoU expected to make life better for both parties and the economy at large.
Earlier, the Director General, MAN, Mr. Segun Kadir, said the collaboration is aimed at strengthening the good relationship both institutions have built over the years, stressing the need to come up with a new MoU to tally with current global trend.

“We are also here to find ways on how we can work more closely so that going ahead our relationship will be deeper. We are in full support about the review of the MoU, because it will go a long way to resolve issues relating to standards and would create a more symbiotic relationship between both parties and also in the best interest of the entire citizenry.

He also called on the need to analyse how the manufacturing sector of the economy is faring, saying that manufacturing is key for economic growth while also adding that capacity utilisation has to increase and investments given the necessary encouragement it deserves.