Dr Joseph Odumodu, the Director-General of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), on Friday urged Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to produce goods that would meet global standards. Speaking in an interview with newsmen Odumodu said that many companies in the country collapsed because they produced inferior goods.
According to him, a lack of funding should not hinder an entrepreneur from running a business successfully. He said that businesses collapsed easily because of their lack of depth in concept and quality of products, advising indigenous entrepreneurs to ensure that they met the required standard to enable them compete favourably with imported products. Odumodu said that it was only by producing standard goods that smuggling and importation of prohibited goods would cease, noting that because SMEs were the engines driving the economy, they should embrace best standards to enhance their chances of competing in the international market.
“SMEs are the key to growing this economy. The challenge we have today is that they also need to embrace standards because if they embrace standards, they stand the chance of exporting their goods and their goods also stand the chance of sharing the same quality advantages even for the big multinationals.“I have never seen where finance has stopped an entrepreneur from successfully doing business, what does stop people is either the ideas or concept and of cause the quality of the products that they create. ” He said that adequate funding of the agricultural sector would guarantee the availability of raw materials for production of goods locally for export.
Odumodu commended the Federal Government for financing the SMEs through the Bank of Industry and the Central Bank of Nigeria. He, however, called on the government not to relent in its fight against smuggling. “Smuggling is a bad business. People should be discouraged from doing it and I think we need to use a much stronger punishment regime so that if people smuggle and they are punished, and people see they are punished, others will be deterred. ”