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Professionals seek increased funding for SON

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Manufacturers and related professionals have called on the Federal Government to improve budgetary funding and mobilise adequate resources for the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to enable it to discharge its key functions appropriately.

The stakeholders in their different congratulatory messages to the agency’s new Director-General, Farouk Salim, said while the agency is saddled with the task of ensuring that Nigeria is free from substandard and adulterated goods, it is only through improved funding that Salim can consolidate on the gains made by his predecessors and build on them.

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Describing the new SON helmsman as ‘a round peg in a round hole’, the stakeholders set what some of them described as ‘the urgent agenda’ Salim needs to focus on as he assumes his new responsibility.

Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Muda Yusuf tasked the new SON DG on key areas to focus on, which include, deepening of intelligence, provision of adequate security, and increasing discipline among officials to catch up with those who are involved in adulteration and counterfeiting.

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He stated: “Strengthening of intelligence is very crucial and this requires the support of and collaboration of the private sector. We will also like to see better logistics support and security for the staff because the task of stopping the criminal elements involved in the production and circulation of substandard products is a very risky assignment.

“The new DG will need to collaborate with the security agencies to provide adequate security cover for the officials of SON. We will also like to see stronger enforcement and compliance among the critical stakeholders, particularly in the private sector. This requires a high level of discipline among the officials. Also, to improve the resources available to him, he will need to collaborate with the relevant agencies of the government and the private sector to put pressure on the government to strengthen the capacity of the organisation.”

Yusuf said the LCCI’s doors are open to SON for collaboration and support, adding that it is in the interest of the investors to support SON to do its job.

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“This is because we need to bring sanity to the business environment. We need to do away with all these substandard and fake products. All these things bring reputation problems to us as a country. They also damage the reputation of well-known brands. So, we are ready to cooperate with him,” he said.

Also, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) holds the new DG in high esteem. They charged the appointee, who is also a pharmacist, to position the agency as an efficient agency and curb the influx of sub-standard, life-endangering goods into Nigeria.

In a statement, signed by its President, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, and National Secretary, Emeka Duru, PSN described Salim as “the best fit to end the influx of sub-standard and life-endangering goods into the country.”

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