Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Kano State have been challenged to imbibe the tenets of standardisation and quality assurance with a view to helping to improve the quality of lives of Nigerians.
This call was made by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) State coordinator, Kano State, Alhaji Yunusa Muhammad during a live phone-in programme on Pyramid Radio “Ranar Wanka” conducted in Hausa language recently.
Alh Muhammad enumerated some of the concessions given to MSMEs by SON as including, fifty per cent discount on the purchase of standards and products testing, as well as training. MSMEs representatives are also involved in the standards development process, according to him.
He enjoined local manufacturers in Kano State to voluntarily embrace the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) certification for locally manufactured products in order to meet standards requirements, avoid waste and deliver consistent quality to customers.
Alhaji Mohammad outlined other SON activities as including the off-shore Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP) for imported products from countries of origin, regular market survey, investigation and resolution of consumer complaints as well as management systems training and certification for which he said, SON had international accreditation.
He assured the listeners of SON’s commitment to protecting consumers’ interest through standardization and quality assurance of products, processes and systems.
Responding to a question on Standards enforcement activities in Kano, the SON State Coordinator listed suspected substandard tyres, mosquito coils, electric cables, unfortified sugar, cell phones, gas cylinders etc. as some of the products apprehended in recent months.
According to him, many of these had been destroyed on the orders of the courts, following laboratory tests and analyses confirming failure to meet standards requirements while others are still undergoing due process of quality confirmation, regulatory and judicial procedures.
Speaking on the proliferation of substandard products in Nigerian markets, Alhaji Mohammad lamented the absence of SON at the Ports of entry since 2011, stressing that it was a herculean task to apprehend substandard products once they exit the ports of entry.
He stated that SON activities are carried out in the safest ways to achieve desired objectives through collaboration with all relevant stakeholders for collective success.
The SON Kano State Coordinator advocated self-regulation and voluntary uptake and compliance with standards among manufacturers and importers while also challenging consumers to always demand for value for money through insistence on quality products.