By Miriam Humbe
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has offered its hands of fellowship and collaboration to stakeholders in the health care delivery sector in Nigeria, in order to enhance the quality of equipment, machinery and services being offered in the sector.
SON Director General, Mallam Farouk Salim made the offer recently in a goodwill message to the 45th National Convention of the Pharmaceutical Association of Nigerian Students (PANS), held at the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Represented by Engr. Ugochukwu Nwachukwu, the SON Chief Executive stated that the offshore conformity assessment programme for SON regulated imports (SONCAP) provides a window of import permit for raw materials, equipment and machinery and urged stakeholders to take optimum advantage of it to improve the quality of products being offered to Nigerians.
He said further that local manufacturing of medical equipment and machinery stand to gain a lot in accuracy of measurements from the calibration services being offered by the SON promoted National Metrology Institute (NMI) located in Enugu with outreaches across the country.
Mallam Salim invited all public and private sector organisations in Nigeria to take advantage of the SON internationally accredited Management Systems Certification services to guarantee improvements in their processes and systems in line with international best practices.
According to him, the internationally accredited Laboratory Services being offered by SON provides seamless international acceptance for all commodities and products tested at very competitive prices, especially for members of the organised private sector to promote National self-sufficiency, increased export and foreign exchange earnings.
He commended the theme for the Convention “INDIGENOUS DRUG PRODUCTION: BOTTLENECKS/CHALLENGES” as apt, particularly in view of the economic diversification agenda of the Federal Government aimed at ensuring steady and sustainable growth of the Nation’s wealth.
The SON DG expressed hope that the insights to be gained from the knowledge and wealth of experience in indigenous drug manufacturing and success of the Keynote Speaker, Dr. (Mrs.) Stella Okoli, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive of Emzor Pharmaceutical Industry Ltd., in spite of the daunting challenges, would propel many of the Pharmacy students into local manufacturing and entrepreneurship to create more job opportunities and greater wealth for Nigeria.
In his words “I wish to challenge you all as Students of Pharmacy to begin to focus your minds beyond the production and administration of drugs to the business models required to sustain pharmaceutical studies, practices and research to underscore your key role in the health care delivery sector”.
Mallam Salim enjoined members of PANS to fully internalize adherence to standards and quality, embodied in the ethics of the Pharmacy profession, as according to him, they will have the responsibility of continuously meeting international best practices in the global village.
“We at the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) are available to provide you support in the area of standards development and placing at your disposal our network of relationships locally and internationally to enhance your knowledge in the course of your study”, he said.
He disclosed that SON was working with the Nigeria Universities Commission and some Universities on adding standardisation to the curriculum, while Standards Clubs are already being established in Primary and Secondary Schools across the Nation to deepen the knowledge of Nigerians on Standards and Quality Assurance.
Chairman, Governing Council of Pharmacist in Nigeria, Professor Ahmed Tijanni Mora stated that the appointment of Mallam Salim as the second Pharmacist to head SON, points to the vast scope of Pharmaceutical practice.
The PANS President, David Ataije expressed appreciation to all collaborators towards the success of the convention and specially thanked SON for the goodwill message from the Director General.