NPA, SON collaborate to check influx of substandard imports
By EDU ABADE, Business Editor
In a bid to promote the Import and Export Trade in quality products, while also ensuring that Nigeria is not shortchanged by the purveyors of substandard Imports.
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has entered into a strategic partnership with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to tackle the influx of sub-standard products into the country.
The strategic arrangement according to the two key federal agencies becomes crucial for the overall good of the nation’s economy and the safety of its people especially in tackling the importation of sub-standard products by promoting the circulation and sale of high quality products.
Chief Executives of the two agencies expressed confidence that the collaboration would lead to more gains in terms of employment opportunities, increased revenue to the Federal Government as well as substantial growth in the nation’s economy.
Director General of SON, Farouk Salim and Managing Director of NPA, Muhammed Bello-Koko and managements of both organisations at a strategic meeting in Lagos agreed on the need for more effective collaboration and synergy to drive result-oriented and seamless operations at the nation’s ports.
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They also agreed to collaborate on the promotion of speedy processing of goods for exports in furtherance of the Federal Government’s economic diversification policy, especially for non-oil products.
Bello-Koko stated technical expertise would be brought to bear through its participation in the joint cargo inspection and examination for greater efficiency and subsequent detention of suspected substandard products, adding: “We will work with SON to ensure that it discharges its duty effectively. I am sure that SON will also work with other sister agencies without issues,” Koko said.
The NPA boss, who enjoined SON to play more active role in the Export Processing Zones (EPZs) to facilitate Nigeria’s export drive for quality and competitive products in the nation’s borders, disclosed that both agencies would carefully scrutinise the personnel and equipment for judicial use followed President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent approval for Export Processing Terminals.
Earlier, Salim lamented that the challenge posed by the influx of substandard products to the concerted efforts of relevant agencies and stakeholders towards growing the nation’s economy has been partly responsible for increased unemployment rate and poor wealth creation in the country, stressing that all hands should be on deck to reverse the trend.
He expressed SON’s readiness to avail its Management Systems Standards Certification (MSSC) and training services to NPA personnel to continually improve its efficiency in service delivery.
While accepting SON’s offer for training and certification, the NPA boss requested SON input into the NPA Academy Curriculum and commended the SON for initiating reposition of the organisation to deliver on its core mandate.