By Francis Akinnodi
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has attributed the level of economic growth of any country to the level of metrological infrastructure put in place so as to facilitate trade, promote export, accelerate economic development and protect the environment.
The Ondo State Coordinator of SON, Mr. Ado Ibrahim told The Hope that apart from developing National Metrology Institute (NMI) in Enugu State, the agency’s other task has been to create awareness to stakeholders and operators on the importance and benefits of metrology services towards economic development and global competitiveness.
He believed that the NMI project, when fully operational would clearly demonstrate that Nigeria has come of age in industrial development.
“Metrology remains one of the components of Nigeria’s national quality infrastructure project needed for industrial growth through improved competitiveness of locally made products.
“Now, Nigeria’s embrace of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which would in turn translate to an African common market, imposes on Nigeria, bigger challenges concerning products quality and standards.
“Nigeria stands to gain immensely from global trade if she would harness properly the potentials and opportunities offered by Continental Trade pact.
“Locally made products need to be generally accepted everywhere across Africa and beyond. Local manufacturers therefore need to key into certain best practices and industrial processes in order to grow and expand their companies and businesses.
“And one of the major tools of essence for business, trade and industrial growth in Nigeria has been metrology”, he said.
Ibrahim stated that producing goods and services that meet global standards for consumers has remained sine-qua-non as well as imperative for operators and industry players.
However, he said, putting in place standard goods and services requires the right quality infrastructure which in turns calls for stupendous and robust Public-Private Partnership.
“Essentially, the SON, a key regulatory agency has been vested with the responsibilities to conduct tests and advise all tiers of government and consumers on matters relating to standards and quality of products and services.
“Therefore, the agency’s mandate and tasks are to ensure compliance to specific products standards, undertake investigations concerning the quality of facilities, materials and products in Nigeria as well as establish quality assurance system including certification of factories, products and laboratories geared towards benefiting all stakeholders and operators”, he said.
He maintained that the nation’s quest for economic diversification, trade facilitation and business growth could be attained if there is accuracy of measurement of products/services standards for either local or global market.
The SON state coordinator appealed to industry players, public and private sectors operators, individuals and corporate organisations to patronise the agency’s calibration services.
He stated that plans are being put in place towards installing mobile calibration laboratories to reach the hinterlands and rural communities across the country even as efforts are being intensified to have adequate trained staff.