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Goverment strategises on standardisation for SME, economic devt


Nigeria’s minister of industry, trade and investment, Okechukwu Enelamah

The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment has emphasised the need to deploy the use of standardisation to drive Small and Medium Enterprises ( SMEs) to achieve its diversification goal.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, explained that the current economic downturn necessitated the development of various initiatives by various arms of government which includes the recovery and growth plan by the ministry aimed at resuscitating collapsed industries, boosting trade, attracting responsible foreign direct investments, development of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and patronage for made in Nigeria goods.

Enelamah who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Aminu Bisallah, at a management retreat organised by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), said the present global economy has necessitated the need to encourage SMEs‎ to produce goods that are exportable to attract the much needed foreign exchange for the Nigerian economy.

Meanwhile, the minister added that the theme of the retreat, “Repositioning the SON for optimal performance in a diversified economy”, is no doubt very apt given the diversification drive of the federal government centred on the nation’s potentials outside oil.

He noted that ‎the forum offers opportunities for critical self-examination through open and creative dialogue, developing new ideas and innovations leading to strategic realignment to drive desired change, saying that this move has the potential of securing the voluntary buy-in of staff while also ensuring effective participation in the implementation of organisational goals.

“The role of SON in this regard cannot be over emphasised. You must reinvigorate your strategies in the fight against the influx and distribution of substandard products as part of measures to protect the local industries from unfair competition and re-position them for export to earn the most desired foreign exchange,” he said.

Earlier, the Director General, SON, Osita Aboloma, noted that the agency is poised to bring its competencies and expertise to bear on the implementation of the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP), pointing out that a major outcome of the retreat would therefore be to reposition the SMEs unit to be in the front burner of its efforts at contributing to the effective implementation of the NIRP.

“Closely related to this is the fact that the Acting President has already given us a two months ultimatum to galvanize the standardization of all SMEs in the country,” he said.

Also speaking at the event, the former Director-General, SON, Prof. John Akanya, said going forward, Nigeria must define, implement its national quality ‎policy and objectives as well as promote quality amongst manufacturers and traders.

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