Stakeholders in all sectors of the economy have charged the Federal Government to improve funding for the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON).
The manufacturers, professionals and economic experts used the opportunity of the newly appointed Director General, SON, Mallam Farouk Salim’s assumption of office to task the Federal Government to properly fund the agency towards enabling it discharge its duties efficiently.
While lauding the federal government for the appointment of a core professional as the head the agency, the stakeholders noted that only improved and adequate budgetary funding and mobilisation of resources that would enable the new SON helmsman to build and consolidate on the gains made by his predecessors.
The stakeholders maintained the appointment of the new SON DG is all about taking cognizance of his robust profile, which places him at a vantage position to carry out this critical assignment more efficiently.
They, however, stressed that the SON boss, as a core professional, needs to focused as he kicks the ball rolling.
Meanwhile, the Director General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr. Muda Yusuf, in his address said: “the key areas the new SON DG should focus on include deepening of intelligence … because, without intelligence, the enforcers cannot catch up with the criminals that perpetuate the production and importation of substandard products”.
“So, strengthening of intelligence is very crucial and this requires support of and collaboration of the private sector.
“We will also like to see better logistics for the staff and better security for them, because the task of stopping the criminal elements involved in the production and circulation of substandard products is a very risky assignment.
“So to primarily reduce the risks involved, the new DG will need to collaborate with the security agencies to provide adequate security cover for the officials of SON.
“We will also like to see stronger enforcement, stronger compliance among all the critical stakeholders, particularly in the private sector. This requires a high level of discipline among the officials; it requires that the officials didn’t compromise.
“Also, in order to improve the resources available to him, he will need to collaborate with the relevant agencies of the government and the private sector to put pressure on the government to strengthen the capacity of SON with the desired resources so that things will work out better”.
He further posited that LCCI doors are open to SON for partnership and support because the organisation sees SON as a partner.
“It is in the interest of the investors in the economy to see that SON is supported to do its job. This is because we need to bring sanity to the business environment.
“We need to do away with all these substandard and fake products. All these things bring a lot of image and reputation problems for us as a country.
“It also damages the image of well-known brands in the system. So, we are ready to cooperate with him; our doors are open for SON.”
Moreover, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) also said that as a professional organisation, they expect one of their own to position the agency at a pedestal that would effectively curb the influx of sub-standard, life-endangering goods infiltrating Nigeria.
“Salim, a certified pharmacist, has a vision of bringing changes by promoting public safety and the role of standards in local manufacturing and creating an enabling environment for innovations that will stimulate national self-sufficiency.