By Miriam Humbe
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.
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) State coordinator, Kano State, Alhaji Yunusa Muhammad made the call 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 percent 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 offshore 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.
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.
He said 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.