By Abba-Eku Onyeka
In order to promote enable business environment in Nigeria, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has signed a Memorandum of Under-standing (MoU) with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) in Lagos.
According to a recent release from SON, the MoU which covers the operations of the mandatory conformity assessment programme for the certification of all locally manufactured products and the offshore SON Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP) for imported products will be in force for 5years.
Assessing MAN high in partnership, the SON Director General (DG), Osita Aboloma said the mandate of the parasttal was to promote local manufacturers to enhance rapid industrial growth in the country, adding that the MoU will serve as mutual collaboration between SON and MAN for the benefit of the Nation’s economy. According to him, the document, took note of the interests of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as the fulcrum of industrial development and provides concessions for genuine manufacturers under the ambit of MAN. He therefore urged MAN leadership to put in place mechanisms against the abuse of the concessions, promote self-regulation amongst members, join SON in the fight against influx of substandard products in the country.
Responding, MAN DG Mr Segun Ajayi Kadiri described the signing as a necessary response to a lot of concerns by the association’s members, stressing that SON through the MoU has further demonstrated its avowed commitment to the development of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria. He acknowledged the concessions to MAN members with particular reference to the importation of raw materials and machinery and promised to put necessary machinery in place to optimize the gains from the MoU.
The MAN DG added that the timing of the MoU cannot be better in view of the imminent implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and its likely implications for the manufacturing sector in Nigeria, even as he urged other regulatory authorities in Nigeria to follow the example of SON to provide a better enabling environment for the ease of doing business in the country