Farouk Salim, Director General/Chief Executive of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) in his speech delivered at the Commissioning of the North – East Regional Office and Laboratory Complex in Bauchi State on December 8, 2022 saying The laboratories in this complex are deliberately designed to meet the needs of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME’s) major drivers for the economic development of our country.
Salim in his welcome address says your Excellencies, the Executive Governor of Bauchi State, Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, Kauran Bauchi, the Honourable Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Y. Katagum, your Royal Highnesses and other distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen to this very important occasion of the commissioning of the North East Regional Office and Laboratory Complex of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria.
SON DG said When the strategic decision was made to establish this laboratory and others, in some states and the FCT, Abuja, the major factor that weigh heavily was the need to improve the turnaround time for the delivery of our laboratory services, thereby protecting the integrity of our testing systems.
Salim further stated that the choice of Bauchi for the North East Regional Office was quite simple and straightforward. The state is well known for the excellent disposition of its people who are great entrepreneurs in diverse aspects of commerce and industry. But, more importantly, Bauchi was the first state in the North East to offer us land large enough for our purpose. Indeed, our application for this land was treated with utmost dispatch, he added.
“The edifice we are commissioning comprise laboratories on the ground floor and 18 offices on the first and second floor in addition to a large conference room.
“The offices would house the North East Regional Office of the Organisation as well as our Bauchi State Office.
“The laboratories are in Food Chemistry and Engineering. The Food Chemistry laboratory would focus on food related products including the very popular Bauchi ” Masa and Danbun Nama”, while the Engineering laboratory is dedicated for products in the built industry serving both large entity such as Lafarge Cement Company in nearby Gombe State and thousands of block moulders in this State and across the North East.
In his words: The construction of this facility is therefore, part of the holistic plan of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria to reduce cost of business for MSME’s in the North East, thereby contributing to the Federal Government policy of ease of doing business.
SON DG stressed that Testing is a critical component of conformity assessment programme of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, which in turn is one of the pillars of our national quality infrastructure. Let me at this point assure your Excellencies, distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen of our resolve to secure accreditation for the laboratories in this complex before the end of my tenure, he noted.
“The accreditation would ensure global acceptance of the test reports from this facility in accordance with the principle of’ tested once accepted globally.
Apart from testing services, Salim disclosed that the Standards Organisation of Nigeria has other services that should be patronised by entities in Bauchi State, particularly the State Government. I would like to advise certification to the various International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) Management Systems Standards.
“The certification would assure persons you deal with that your processes and procedures are managed in accordance with the requirements of the applicable standards adding that International bodies and your development partners would have confidence in engaging with Bauchi State knowing that you manage your processes according to the standard they themselves are certified to.
“Bauchi State, our host state has a huge land mass representing about 5.3 % of Nigeria’s land mass. One senatorial zone in this State is much bigger than most States in the South East. It is therefore, not difficult to imagine the huge challenge facing SON in carrying out its mandate in this massive state. According to him, the only operational vehicle we have, cannot effectively carry our staff to the industries we need to cover in all the twenty Local Government Areas of the State.
In concluding, Salim said, permit me to thank the President, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR for his consistent support to this Organisation. Mr President is a true and loyal friend of this State, much beloved by the good people here, and for excellent reasons too, he added.