The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the Benue State Government have resolved to enhance their partnership to grow Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the State through improved education and sensitization on adherence to Standards as well as imbibing the culture of Quality.
This resolution was reached during a courtesy visit by the Director General, SON Mallam Farouk Salim to the Benue State Governor, Dr. Samuel Ortom in Makurdi recently.
According to the Director General, SON has been providing technical support and expertise to industries in the State since its establishment in 2007.
Mallam Salim said the Organisation is determined to do more by establishing a food testing laboratory that will support the State as the “Food Basket of the Nation”, for the certification of products for local consumption and export.
This, he said would in addition to boosting socio-economic development of the State, reduce the time and efforts committed to transporting agricultural and food products to Lagos for testing.
He thanked the Governor and people of Benue State for being worthy hosts as the current SON State Office accommodation located on J. S. Tarka Road was provided by the State since 2007 and expressed appreciation for the allocation of piece of land along Naka Road in 2010.
The SON Chief Executive however appealed for the provision of a more spacious and befitting temporary office for the organisation stressing that its activities have outgrown the current office space.
Mallam Salim also requested Governor Ortom to allocate another piece of land within Makurdi city to enable SON commence the construction of its permanent office complex, laboratory and storage facility, pointing out that the earlier allocated land has been encroached and not easily accessible.
The SON DG also appealed for the provision of an additional operational vehicle to enable the Staff reach all nooks and crannies of Benue State with the gospel of standardization and quality assurance.
While congratulating the Governor in maintaining peaceful co-existence in the state, he offered the various International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) management systems accredited training and certification services being conducted by SON to bolster efficient service delivery in the State.
Responding, Governor Samuel Ortom expressed appreciation of SON’s efforts in the performance of its products and systems regulatory role in the country and for protecting Nigerians from the menace of substandard products and its negative effects.
He assured the SON Director General of his personal commitment to supporting the organisation being a former Chairman of its Governing Council and a Minister who supervised its activities at the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.
He directed the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Tony Ijohor to take prompt action on the requests from SON, stressing that Benue State is most receptive to assisting agencies of the Federal Government to support the State in enhancing its socio- economic development.
The State Government earlier held a banquet for the SON delegation at which the rich cultural heritage of the people were displayed and Mallam Salim was decorated as an Honorary indigene of Benue State.