According to the Standards Organization of Nigeria, the country is experiencing instability and restiveness as a result of industry shutdowns, which are exacerbating the unemployment rate.
A statement quoted the Director General of SON, Mallam Farouk Salim, to have said this during a facility tour of FrieslandCampina WAMCO on Thursday in Lagos.
He noted that industries were suffering from counterfeiting, infrastructural problems, influx of substandard goods, among others, noting that the agency was committed to supporting the industry in every way possible.
“We are however in this together because we recognise that industry is the heart of a nation, as most countries survive on industry and SON is here to support the industry. The industry needs to be supported and nurtured and we are working with the National Assembly to adjust our Act to provide the needed support,” he said.
Salim charged industries to support the amendment of the SON Act to further empower the agency in its fight against substandard products in Nigeria.
Salim stated that the SON Act amendment, which was already at the National Assembly, would also empower the standards body to impose more penalties on offenders, thereby driving industrialisation.
The SON boss stressed that industries needed to support the agency due to the myriad of services it rendered such as training, enforcement, metrology as well as laboratory testing it provided to shore up the country’s industrialisation agenda.
He appealed to industries to minimise spending of foreign exchange on laboratory tests abroad, adding that when SON laboratories were supported to be better equipped, the job would be easier for everyone in the industry.
Earlier, the Managing Director, Friesland Campina, Mr Ben Langat, had called for collaboration between SON as a regulatory agency and indigenous manufacturing companies to support industries through the difficult operating environment.
He stressed the need for understanding from a company point of view and a regulatory point of view as Nigeria was going through a very difficult time in its economy.
“We are here in different roles but we have similar interests, which is to drive the safety of products in the best way forward as regulator and producers. Manufacturers in Nigeria are faced with a lot of challenges such as inflation, cost of raw materials, among others, but we have to weather the challenges with people that would see us and support us,” he said.