The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) Governing Council has approved ninety-six (96) new Nigerian Industrial Standards for national use which 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 brought the total number of Standards approved by SON Governing Council to 264 in year 2020 following the earlier approval of 168 Standards. Chairman of the Council, Dr. Nasir Sani-Gwarzo commended the new SON helmsman for being able to convene the Council meeting few months after his appointment in spite of the challenges of the health pandemic and other socio-economic events. He stated that the newly approved standards were significant given the scope of their coverage.
He enumerated 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 such as syringes, face barriers, alcohol based hand sanitiser, medical electrical equipment, Health and Safety Measures for Tourism and Hospitality Establishments – Post Pandemic (Covid-19) Resumption amongst many others.
According to him others of great economic, regulatory and industrial importance include standards for agricultural, petroleum and automobile gas products, electrical/electronic standards for smart energy meters and renewable energy, all of which support the Federal Government policies, strategic priorities and plans. Represented by Dr. Halilu Hamma, the Chairman formally congratulated Mallam Salim on his appointment and assured him of the full support of the Council members via a harmonious working relationship based on mutual trust and respect in order to significantly improve the organisation’s efficiency and effectiveness in delivering on its mandate to Nigerians. Dr. Sani-Gwarzo assured 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 Nation’s socio-economic growth and development.
Addressing the Council earlier, Mallam Farouk Salim expressed appreciation to President Buhari for giving him the opportunity to further contribute to National development through SON, stressing that he looked forward to tapping from the rich expertise and experience of the Council members in the areas of providing necessary approvals for policies to make the organisation more efficient and effective in touching the lives of Nigerians. He expressed concern about the lack of a befitting Corporate Headquarters for the organisation, conducive working environment for the staff nationwide to enable them deliver efficient services, need to be properly positioned to tackle the influx of substandard products into the country, faking and adulteration amongst others and sought the Council’s support to tackle them. 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 in view of the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement. Mallam Salim reiterated his commitment to making SON a better and more impactful organisation in Nigeria as well as in regional, continental and international standardisation activities.