NIGERIA – In a bid to further encourage fairness in business transactions while promoting quality assurance in the real sector, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has inaugurated the nation’s first Metrology Institute in Enugu.
With this development, the agency said it is optimistic of addressing the deficit in infrastructure under its national quality infrastructure agenda for positioning Nigeria’s locally manufactured products for global competitiveness.
Besides, the Chairman, SON council, Abubakar Mustapha has advocated a consideration for the review of SON Act by the National Assembly to enable the council execute its mandate.
Speaking at the commissioning of the Institute in Enugu, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga explained that a thriving metrology system is essential for a country to have a robust manufacturing process.
According to him, Nigeria’s diversification agenda would be realised when enablers and value chain drivers are empowered to achieve their mandates.
“SON has embarked on an ambitious project that would serve as an enabler for diversification. Diversification cannot be achieved without the National Quality Infrastructure. The metrology Institute would further aid the country’s compliance with conformity assessment rules.”
The institute according to SON will undertake activities such as developing, maintaining and disseminating national measurement standards appropriate to national needs, and also develop and transfer to users’ new measurement technology.
Indeed, the national measurement standards of a country provide the basis for its other conformity assessment activities like calibration services, trade metrology services, and conformance testing with respect to technical regulations, testing, and accreditation amongst others in both the regulatory and voluntary sectors.
Director-General, SON, Dr. Joseph Odumodu noted that the country does not have any if such infrastructure at the moment and it exists, it is probably not accredited.
“Consumers have over the years been short-changed by many service providers. This Institute hopes to aid fairness in transactions. Consumers have to trust the amount of petrol delivered by a pump amongst others, so metrology is an important aspect of life.
“There has been a deficit of SON facilities and this informed the move to further safeguard consumers by ensuring that infrastructures are developed to facilitate this effort”, he added.
A core concept in metrology is metrological traceability which is most often obtained by calibration, establishing the relation between the indication of a measuring instrument and the value of a measurement standard. These standards are usually coordinated by national metrological institutes.
United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) representative, Dr. Chuma Ezedinma noted that metrology is a key component of the Quality Infrastructure and should be developed in Nigeria to ensure accuracy and traceability of measurements in the country while facilitating global competitiveness of Nigerian products and services.
He added that UNIDO has continued to support Nigeria’s industrial growth and would not relent in assisting with the quality infrastructure projects.
Enugu State Governor, Sullivan Chime commended the SON’s efforts in the state adding that the state would continue to provide an enabling environment for its effective operations.