It is about one year now since President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Mallam Farouk A. Salim, as Director-General/Chief Executive of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), and judging from the developments in the SON, there is a pointer that the President may not have made a wrong decision.
This is not unconnected to the various initiatives by the current DG who has made sustained efforts to galvanise relevant stakeholders to improve standards in the delivery of goods and services in the country.
Before reviewing some of the projects initiated by Salim, it has to be stated that it did not come as a surprise to many when Nigeria was elected into the standards management committee of the African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO) due to the strides of SON in enforcing standards.
In order to catch them young, SON has commendably held the 2019/20 ARSO essay competition for undergraduates in Nigerian tertiary institutions, as well as kick-started the 2020/21 edition.
Being a focused leader, a strategic plan to guide the activities and programmes of SON from 2021 to 2024 was approved by Salim at a strategic/leadership management retreat.
Approval has also been done for 213 new Nigeria industrial standards for stakeholders/industry use and economic growth by the SON governing council.
Some other achievements of SON within the period under review include re-equipping of the national metrology institute, Enugu; calibration of weighbridges nationwide on federal government’s directives; as well as the acquisition of landed properties in Katsina, Jigawa, Nassarawa, Kano for the construction of prototype SON regional/state/laboratory/ storage complex.
Also worthy of note is the occupation of new SON corporate headquarters building in Abuja; relocation of SON state offices to more conducive and befitting accommodations in Jigawa, Kano and Sagamu; and relocation of state offices to SON permanent office/laboratory complexes in FCT, Kwara, Akwa Ibom and Ekiti states.
Salim has also ensured that the laying of the foundation stone for the construction of SON permanent office/laboratory and storage complex in Sokoto is done, even as the signing of MOU with Katsina state government on support for development and growth of MSMEs have been effected.
On Standards enforcement, SON has confiscated N600million worth of stuffed substandard tyres in a warehouse in Ogun state and effected seizure of two containers of stuffed imported used tyres in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, among others.
SON has also ensured the prosecution of standards infractions relating to substandard lubricants, electric cables, forgery of SON clearing documents etc.