BusinessDay

NPA partners SON on export processing, substandard imports tackling

Determined to boost Nigeria’s export and import trade through standard and quality products, 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 partnership, 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 and sale of high quality products.

The Chief Executives of the two agencies expressed confidence that the collaboration would lead to more employment opportunities, increased revenue to the Federal Government as well as substantial growth in the nation’s economy.

At a strategic meeting on Wednesday in Lagos, Farouk Salim, the director general of SON and Mohammed Bello-Koko, managing director of NPA agreed on the need for more effective collaboration and synergy to drive a result-oriented and seamless operations at the nation’s ports.

Both agencies also agreed to collaborate to promote speedy processing of goods for exports in furtherance of the Federal Government’s economic diversification policy especially for non-oil products.

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According to Bello-Koko, SON’s technical expertise would be brought to bear through its participation in the joint cargo inspection and examination for greater efficiency and swift apprehension of suspected substandard products.

“We will work with SON to ensure it discharges its duty effectively. I am sure SON will also work with other sister agencies without issues,“ the NPA boss said.

Bello-Koko also called on SON to play a more active role in the Export Processing Zones to fast-track Nigeria’s export drive for quality and competitive products across the nation’s borders.

The NPA boss said both organisations would deliberate on the personnel and equipment to be utilised following the presidential approval for Export Processing Terminals.

Earlier, Farouk Salim expressed regret at the challenge posed by the influx of substandard products to the concerted efforts of relevant agencies and stakeholders towards growing the nation’s economy.

According to him, the situation has been partly responsible for the increased unemployment rate and poor wealth creation in the country, adding that all hands should be on deck to reverse the negative trend.

Salim expressed SON’s preparedness to avail its Management Systems Standards Certification and training services to NPA personnel to continually improve its efficiency in service delivery.

While accepting the SON offer of training and certification, the NPA boss requested SON input into the NPA Academy Curriculum.

He commended the SON leadership for piloting various initiatives to reposition the organisation in order to achieve its statutory mandate.

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