By Adeoluwa Afusat
Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), in a bid to promote economic and industrial growth in the country.
According to a statement, SON stated that the move is part of efforts to further promote economic and industrial growth through manufacturing in Nigeria and to provide a greater enabling environment for the ease of doing business.
The MoU which covers the operations of the mandatory conformity assessment programme for the certification of all locally manufactured products as well as the offshore conformity assessment programme (SONCAP) for imported products will be in force for five years according to the document.
Speaking after the signing in Lagos, SON Director-General, Osita Aboloma stated that the mandate of his organisation is primarily to promote local manufacturers in order to ensure rapid industrial growth, describing MAN as a formidable partner in progress.
He described the signing of the MoU as another milestone in the existing mutual collaboration between SON and MAN for the overall benefit of the nation’s economy and the welfare of its people.
According to him, the document took particular note of the interests of micro, small and medium enterprises as the fulcrum of industrial development and provides concessions for genuine manufacturers under the ambit of MAN.
Aboloma urged the MAN leadership to put in place mechanisms against the abuse of the concessions granted, promote self-regulation amongst its members and join the SON quality vanguard by providing necessary information to aid the fight against the influx and distribution of substandard and life-endangering products.
Responding, MAN Director-General, Mr Segun Ajayi Kadiri described the signing as a necessary response to a lot of concerns by the association’s members, stressing that SON through the MoU has further demonstrated its avowed commitment to the development of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria.
He acknowledged the concessions to MAN members with particular reference to the importation of raw materials and machinery and promised to put necessary machinery in place to optimize the gains from the MoU.
Kadiri stated that the timing of the MoU cannot be better in view of the imminent implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and its likely implications for the manufacturing sector in Nigeria.
The MAN DG urged other regulatory authorities in Nigeria to follow the example of SON as a business facilitators to further provide a better enabling environment for the ease of doing business, in furtherance of the Federal Government’s initiative.