The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) Governing Council has approved 96 new Nigerian Industrial Standards for national use. The standards cut across chemical technology, electrical/electronics, food/agriculture, textile/leather and services.
The approval, which was given at the first meeting of the Council following the appointment of Mallam Farouk Salim as the Director-General, increased the total number of standards approved by SON last year to 264. The Council had earlier approved 168 standards.
Chairman of the Council, Dr. Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, in a statement, commended the new SON helmsman for convening the council meeting a few months after his appointment despite the challenge of the pandemic. He stated that the newly-approved standards were significant given the scope of their coverage.
He listed the approved standards to include those that are essential for the production of medical and other supplies required for the management of the Covid-19 pandemic, health and safety measures for tourism and hospitality establishments – post COVID-19 resumption amongst many others.
Dr. Sani-Gwarzo assured that the new SON Chief Executive of access to a rich and diverse knowledge, expertise and experience in the Council to support his aspiration of making SON a high-impact organisation in support of the country’s socio-economic growth and development.
Salim expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for allowing him to further contribute to national development through SON. He said he looked forward to tapping from the rich expertise and experience of the Council members.
He expressed concern about the lack of a befitting corporate headquarters for the organisation, the absence conducive working environment for the staff nationwide to enable them to deliver efficient services, the need to be properly positioned to tackle the influx of substandard products, adulteration amongst others and sought the Council’s support to tackle the challenges.
Mallam Farouk informed the Council that a Committee of distinguished Nigerians appointed to help review SON Management practices and procedures and make recommendations for far-reaching reforms to strengthen the system has submitted its interim report.
He acknowledged the availability of highly trained, knowledgeable and smart personnel in the organisation and sought the Council’s support in putting them to optimal use. Salim informed the Council stated that the outstanding promotion examination for all categories of staff had been conducted and that the results would be presented to the Council at its next meeting.
The Director-General commended all staff involved in coordinating the development of the newly approved standards as well as the sectoral stakeholders who participated actively in the process.
He urged the Stakeholders to be actively involved in the advocacy of the standards as well as the voluntary uptake by all relevant users in the overall interest of the Nation, particularly given the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA).