Bill to improve local patronage at third reading phase, says Senate Committee
As Committee seeks SON’s return to Ports
The Senate Committee on Industry has announced that the Procurement Act to ensure only locally produced goods are patronised by government agencies, parastatals and functionaries is at its third hearing.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Industry, Sam Egwu, said the committee has done its own part as a parliament to ensure that the bill is signed and put into action, maintaining that it would go a long way to boost local production while also creating employment for the nation’s teeming unemployed youths.
Egwu during an oversight function to Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), in Lagos yesterday, said Nigeria currently spends a lot on importing foreign products which in most cases are substandard, thereby calling on the need to support SON in its quest to rid the country of substandard goods.
In his words, “We have done our own bit as a parliament by getting the procurement bill passed into the third reading, it is now in the process of being sent to the President, but enforcement is what is critical, because if the law is made and is not enforced, it is almost of no use.
“We want to make sure that made-in-Nigeria goods are being patronised where Nigeria can use its resources to support local manufacturers to reduce the level of importation in the country and when we are doing that, we are also ensuring that SON is working hard to make sure these locally produced goods meet international best practices. Money spent on imported goods can be diverted into supporting our local manufacturers.”He however emphasised the need for SON to be back the nation’s port, saying that this is the only way the standards body can deliver 100 per cent on its mandate of ensuring the safety of lives and property.
“We cannot overemphasize the issue of standardisation, because it is the core of every manufacturing output. We are not happy that SON is not allowed to operate at its maximum capacity especially with their presence being felt at the port.
“Nigeria is import dependent with porous borders and for them not to be at the port to inspect these goods first hand is not good enough. They should be allowed to be at the port to see these products before they enter into the market.
“We have seen products coming into the country from countries that do not have standards and these goods are all cloned with SON logo, this is certainly not good for the Nigerian economy. If not for SON in its efforts to rid this country, they would have gone into the hands of the unsuspecting consumers, he said.
Earlier, the Director General, SON, Osita Aboloma, expressed gratitude to the committee, pointing out at that SON has made steady progress over the years under the leadership of the Senate Committee.
“We have never had it so good under any committee in the history of SON, not only did you bequeath a befitting SON Act, we have also been able to discharge most of our core mandates. I am also proud to tell the world that the issue of possession and co-ownership of the building where our operational office in Lekki is situated has been resolved in favour of SON due to your able leadership”, he said.
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