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Business News of Sunday, 22 October 2023


New SON boss to drive homegrown industrialisation, boost export

Dr. Ifeanyi Chukwunonso Okeke Dr. Ifeanyi Chukwunonso Okeke

The newly appointed Director General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Dr. Ifeanyi Chukwunonso Okeke, has assured the Nigerian public of his plans to promote and support the development of the homegrown economy to support the federal government’s plans to industrialise the country.

Okeke who gave this assurance while unveiling his agenda, said his immediate plan is geared towards realising the agency’s mandate of improving lives through quality assurance.

According to him, the strategy he hopes to deploy is a holistic approach that would boost made-in-Nigeria products and ultimately strengthen the naira.

He noted that the organisation was going to use policies and standards regulations to increase job creation, poverty reduction and return confidence to export trade.

Besides, he assured that he would elevate infrastructure to international standards and ease access to laboratories especially for the micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMES) products.

Okeke also said that his leadership would popularise the outcome of standards adopted or elaborated to align with industry needs and global best practices.

The SON boss said such development would go a long way to support both import and export trade.

In his words, “I have received the baton of stewardship today, I must take full control of the activities of the organisation while taking directives from my superiors, the Standards Council and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment. My immediate priority will be to review the hand-over notes quickly to address the areas of concern towards achieving our objectives timely.”

He also commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the appointment, assuring him of his resolve to diversify the nation’s economy away from oil through ensuring that locally made goods are produced to meet global standards.

“I am indeed very grateful to our dear President for this appointment. I will remain focused on his agenda of homegrown economy and the industrialisation of the country. To my Minister I must thank you immensely for this recognition as I promise to pursue the realisation of the organisation’s mandate. May I also recognise the efforts and achievements of my predecessor, Mallam Farouk I. Salim, within the three years of his leadership and the other CEOs who helped numerously to improve the lives of Nigerians through standards over the years,” he said.

While acknowledging that governance is a continuum, he pledged commitment towards continuing with the noble projects on ground that would help in achieving the President’s homegrown economy agenda and increasing the competitiveness of Nigerian products both at home and at the international markets.

“Stakeholder engagements shall form critical pillars of my administration while encouraging the micro, small and medium scale enterprises, as they are the engine drivers of the nation’s economy and growth. We are going to encourage the industry operators to take the issue of product testing as a very key element to productivity and economic growth,” he assured.

“The staff and general staff development will receive greater attention as the organisation remains a reflection of the workforce at all times. Productivity and efficiency shall be my watch words, as we protect the nation from the dangers of substandard products,” he pledged.

Eradicating substandard products, he noted, will ultimately lead to higher capacity utilisation of Nigeria’s teaming industries and create more opportunities for youth employment.

“Once more, I remain ever grateful for this opportunity while soliciting for the support of all in this very important mandate,” he averred.