‘Local certification competence to improve on completion of laboratory’
•SON warehouses 68 containers of substandard tyres for destruction
With its standards laboratory at 95 per cent completion stage, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has expressed optimism of improving its local certification competence, thereby increasing potential for market access and safeguarding consumers’ interests.
Besides, the agency revealed that about 68 containers of substandard tyres were seized as part of its effort to ensure that unsuspecting Nigerian consumers get value for money spent.
The Director-General of SON, Osita Aboloma, stated this when the House of Representatives Committee on Industry came on a facility tour of the laboratory located in Ogba, Lagos.
Aboloma said that the agency was deeply committed to realising the country’s goals of standardisation and that the laboratory had been designed to accommodate the standardisation needs of the entire West African sub-region.
He said, “We have been looking forward to this visit because you are our major advisers. We are open minded and open for change and to anything that would add value the work we do.
“This laboratory has been accredited to ensure that anything certified in Nigeria will be acceptable all over the world. We are also expanding this facility to accommodate more laboratories, because the World Trade Organisation which Nigeria is a member requires that all goods that leave Nigeria must be tested, and certified and to achieve that we must have state-of-the-art laboratories.
“Our Ogba laboratory is where we store goods we seize during our enforcement activities waiting for ratification or destruction.“We are here to make sure that the seized goods being taken away from the market are secured because when we seal up a place it remains sealed. We assure Nigerians that we are on top of the situation in addressing the spate of substandard goods in the country. No matter the power of the culprits behind this illicit trade or the volume of the containers, the war against substandard goods is real,” he averred.
The chairman of the committee, Abubakar Moriki, commended SON for the level of work done so far, noting that the agency had put to effective use, the 2017 budgetary allocation for the establishment of a world-class testing and accreditation laboratory in the country.
He said, “We are happy with the level of progress which was achieved even though it is not 100 per cent ready. We will be further briefed by SON where we will see performance report in terms of 2017 appropriation. We want to know what exactly you need so that this place will be completed in a few weeks time.”
Moriki expressed optimism that full operation of the four-storey laboratory which houses refrigerating testing chamber, electrical accessories testing laboratories and food data processing unit among others, should begin by March.
“Towards the tail end of 2016, we were here and this project was about 95 per cent completed, even though the equipment were not installed and positioned in their respective offices; but now that we are in 2018 and in the process of considering the appropriation for 2018 for SON, it is necessary to come and visit the facility and see other places where they are conducting some construction, procurement of laboratory equipment and other activities in order to meet the target of the completion of the project.
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