SON Warns MSMEs In Akwa Ibom To Comply With Standards | Independent Newspapers Limited
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SON Warns MSMEs In Akwa Ibom To Comply With Standards

Posted: Sep 25, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Samuel Otu Ita,


Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) has urged Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Akwa Ibom State to partner with it to improve the quality of lives of the people through Standardization and Quality Assurance. The Ag. State Coordinator of SON, Engr. Paulinus Igbo, gave the charge in a welcome address presented at a One-Day Sensitization Workshop for MSMEs in Akwa Ibom State. The Workshop with the theme “Enhancing Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Product Quality and Market Opportunity” was held at the Conference Hall, Federal Secretariat Complex Uyo on Tuesday.  “Be good Nigerian, adhere to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and ensure that only products that meet the minimum requirements of the relevant Nigeria Industrial Standards (NIS) are presented for sale to Nigerians,” he appealed.

He, however, warned that the Standard Organization of Nigeria would leave no stone unturned in its task of improving product quality in Nigeria, ensuring level playing field for both locally made and imported quality products, as well as reducing the hazards associated with the consumption of substandard products in Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria at large. He said the Workshop was in tandem with the Zero tolerance for fake and substandard products initiative launched recently by the Director General of SON, Dr. Joseph Odumodu (MFR).

The South South Regional Coordinator of SON, Engr. David Obi, in a Keynote Address, stressed that for Nigeria to attain sustainable development, products of SMEs must attain global recognition which in turn opens up market opportunities. He said the concern of SON for enhancing product quality and market opportunity underscored the theme of the Workshop. He appealed to MSMEs to assist SON by reporting producers and distributors of substandard products in their area for sanctions.

In a lecture on “Enhancing Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Product Quality and Market Opportunity”, the Akwa Ibom State Manager of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Mrs. Lucy Ekpenyong, said the success of any product depends on the superior product quality than competitors’ superior advantages, and the communication process effectiveness within manufacturers to provide information to customers about advantages of their products. She therefore advised MSMEs to work hand in hand with regulatory bodies to achieve required product quality and standards.

Mrs. Ekpenyong who lamented the difficulties MSMEs in the State faced in accessing finance, including the Federal Government Intervention Funds, called on all levels of Government to synergise towards assisting MSMEs with resources to achieve standards. The State SMEDAN boss also tasked governments to eliminate, “unnecessary bureaucracy, administrative bottlenecks and corruption” in the system which tended to frustrate the development of MSMEs.

During the interactive session, the State Chairman of the National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, (NASME) Akwa Ibom State, Chief Sylvester Akaiso, on behalf of the participants, mostly proprietors of MSMEs from various local governments in Akwa Ibom State, complained of lack of credit facilities for entrepreneurs in the state. He said even the Federal Government Intervention Funds through the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, offered no respite as no enterprise in the state has yet accessed the fund. Some participants called on government to save the MSMEs from the crippling effects of multiple taxation, demanding three years tax clearance from new businesses as well as dumping of cheap substandard products in the market.