The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has partnered with some state governors in a bid to grow and develop the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in their respective states.
To this end, SON signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the concerned States to assist SMEs standardise their production processes, packaging, labelling, among others, for export.
Speaking at an interactive session with journalists in Lagos at the weekend, the new director-general, SON, Farouk Salim, said, with the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which seeks to deliver continental goals for inclusive and sustainable development, Nigerian producers and manufacturers must improve on, majorly, product packaging, to compete effectively and internationally.
Advising Nigerian exporters to seek advice from SON before attempting to export any product to avoid rejection in foreign markets, Salim added that enforcing standards go a long way in boosting economic growth.
For sustainable supply chain, Salim said SON already signed MoU for quality assurance with the Agricultural Produce Sellers Association of Nigeria (APSAN), in five states to standardise agricultural produce for exports to check rejection of Nigerian products at the international markets.
SON, according to him, is training its people on ISO 120400 to prepare them for the tasks ahead as well as on ISO 27001 for information and data security management systems, noting that, any IT company being registered in the country will be certified by the organisation in addition to getting their staff trained in the management system.
Even though sustainability costs money, he said, his agency was ready to bear the brunt to protect Nigerians and the environment.
Similarly, Salim said, SON is currently conducting a market survey to assess the level of substandard products into the Nigerian market, to ascertain the nature, type and origin of imports.