SON Deploys Standards to Sustain Growth, Development

Omolabake Fasogbon

The Standards Organization of Nigeria, SON, efforts to live up to its mandate of protecting Nigeria and Nigerians from the adverse effect of fake and substandard products was further given a boost last Tuesday at a one day capacity building workshop for Journalists in Lagos.

Declaring the workshop open, Director General of the Standards Organization of Nigeria, SON, Mallam Farouk Salim set the tone for the day’s discuss when he assured of his readiness and that of the Executive Management team to make SON better by building on existing structures and past achievements, thereby improving on its service delivery as well as relationships with stake holders including the media.

Since his assumption of office as the Director General of SON 10 months ago, Mallam Salim has interacted extensively with different categories of stakeholders on how to collectively take SON to greater heights in the overall good of the Economy the people.

In this regard he revealed that an independent committee of distinguished Nigerians charged with the responsibility of taking a critical look at the structure, processes, practices and service offerings as well as public perception of the organization was set up in order to assist in developing a template to address operational service delivery and staff welfare challenges to entrench equity and fairness in service delivery as well as staff welfare and provide greater opportunities for staff to better contribute to the attainment of organisational goals.

Salim said his organisation is committed to improving on its communication with stakeholders at all levels to get greater buy-in into it’s programs and activities that are targeted at customer satisfaction, consumer protection and welfare as well as the positive growth of the nation’s economy.

He said “without doubt these efforts have begun yielding fruits as the organization is working with the National Assembly to strenghten its quality infrastructure such as equipping regional laboratories to bring our services nearer to the stakeholders and make greater contributions to the diversification of the nation’s economy.”

The capacity of the National Metrology Institute is already being enhanced with acquisition of new equipment for calibration activities on diverse areas of measurement like flow, volume, he added.

He outlined some of the modest achievements of the SON since he assumed office to include amongst others:-

Election of Nigeria into the standards management committee of the African Organization for Standardization (ARSO), Completion of the 2019/20 ARSO Essay competition for undergraduates in Nigerian tertiary institutions, Kick starting the 8th ARSO Essay Competition for undergraduates in Nigerian tertiary institutions 2020/21, Setting up an independent 5-man committee to review and strenghten management practices in SON, Engagement with staff unions on SON rapid growth and improvements, Convening a Strategic Leadership/Management retreat where all the participants collectively resolved to strive towards making the SON a high performing organization capable of delivering high quality services to its clients through renewed commitment and automation of its services.

Others are a strategic plan to guide the activities and programs of SON from 2021 to 2024 which was approved at the retreat.

Approval of 213 new Nigeria Industrial Standards, NIS, for stakeholders/industry use and economic growth by the SON governing council.

Enforcement of standards within the period culminated in the Confiscation of N600 million worth of stuffed substandard tyres in warehouse in Ogun state, Seizure of two containers of stuffed imported used tyres in Port Harcourt, Prosecution of standards infractions relating to substandard lubricants, electricity cables, forgery of SON’s clearing documents and more.

There are also activities in Media advocacy. Events in this stead saw the SON participate fully in the celebration of

World Standards Day 2020 (Protecting the planet with standards, World Metrology Day

2021 – Measurement For Health, Warning on under dispensing of oxygen and other industrial gases etc.


National Council of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) Kano state branch were engaged.

Director General and management of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) were engaged on commodity trading and export, same as Computer Professionals Regulatory Council of Nigeria and NAFDAC, with the aim of achieving a more collaborative regulatory regime in support of the federal government’s policy on the Ease of Doing Business.


Also engaged were Arustralia – on Standards for Railways, Timber and Timber products. Others srr Steel Stakeholders in Lagos, Kano, Asaba on strict adherence to standards;

Executives of Amalgamated Association of Traders, Alaba international market; Auto Spare Parts And Machinery Dealers Association (ASPAMDA); Association of Nigerian Licenced Customs Agents (ANLCA); Business/Manufacturing Community in Enugu on collaboration to tackle menace of substandard goods in the markets through self regulation and information sharing.

LAFARGE Africa Thought Leadership Platform on addressing the root cause of building collapse in Nigeria.

Meeting with the ISO central secretariat to strengthen SON engagement with organisations following which they assured of greater support to the SON in international standards development and implementation.


AfCFTA is a trade agreement between AU member states with the goal of creating a single market followed by free movement and a single-currency union.

The free-trade zone would be the largest in the world since the creation of the World Trade Organization in 1995.

This development it is believed will lead to the influx substandard products into the country and this would have to be checked in the interest of the nation and the economy.

On the issue of curbing the influx and distribution substandard and life threatening products the DG explained that it is being addressed from many dimensions. “Some of our staff have undertaken training programs with the Nigeria Customs Service on the operations of the NCS11.

We are also in discussion for a full integration into the process for operational access and control of SON regulated imports..

When fully achieved, it will assist us to a very large extent in preventing substandard products from entry into Nigeria without any delay at the ports. This is because we have invested in facilities near the Apapa, TinCan and Onne ports where quality verification of suspected substandard products can be carried out.

We have already initiated engagements with key importers across the country to flush out the bad eggs amongst them and promote self regulation in our collective interest”

Salim further disclosed that SON state officers nationwide have been directed to intensify market survey activities to monitor the performance of locally certified and imported products in the market place. It is certain that under AFCFTA many products will find their way into the nation’s market and this calls for increased vigilance on the part of the SON: a major reason why it is not resting on its oars in order to ensure that only the duly certified and approved ones are found in our markets.

Salim also enjoined Nigerian manufacturers to ensure their products conform to international standards through testing and compliance with the Nigeria Industrial Standards, NIS, if they are to maximise opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

According to him, Nigerian manufacturers need to produce products that meet international standards and can compete favourably in the global market place.

He stated that the SON is leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that substandard products are completely wiped out from the country.

“We’ve done enough enforcement, discussed about how to stop all these things that are entering our country. We are working assiduously both within, outside and underground, to improve activities of the organization so that it can serve the country better,” he said.

“This is very important, because we have the new African free trade, where goods will be crossing borders without too much hindrance.

“So what that means for our country is, if our manufacturers are not producing standard goods, they will not cross over to the other countries, because other countries will set standards too and they will expect goods coming to their countries to be up to standard.

“So it is our responsibility as the SON to make sure our goods in this country are up to standard. We must make sure that substandard goods in the markets decrease.

“Governments should make sure that there are consequences and sanctions against any products or persons producing substandard products”.


The SON journalists workshop with the theme: “Improved Synergy To Promote Standardization* was organized as part of measures to further create awareness and bring participants up to date with activities and developments in the SON.

Several papers were presented to clearly explain different aspects of operation of the SON within the scope of its mandate with varied topics such as Promoting Economic Development of Nigeria Through Activities of. National Metrology Institute’, ‘Compliance To Standards – An Imperative To Industrial Growth In Nigeria’, and ‘ Products Registration: Processes, Procedures & Challenges’ to mention but a few, and these were handled by top notch executives and directors in the organization

It is on record that the SON has enjoyed good media relations over time and this exercise which the DG, Mallam Farouk Salim promised to make a quarterly event will no doubt boost the existing relationship between the tho by organisation and the media, create better understanding of its activities and operations and ultimately result in better reportage.

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