By Andy Nssien
The Director General Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Osita Aboloma has reiterated the Organisation’s resolve to continue to support manufacturers at the Guandong Free Trade Zone Igbesa, Ogun State (OGFTZ) in meeting the required 35 percent minimum local value added to products and continual improvement in products quality.
Aboloma who made the commitment while on a working visit to Ogun State, described the zone as an important economic area, adding that his visit was to promote and enhance quality assurance and conformity assessment of products coming out of the zone.
The SON Chief Executive added that his visit was also to promote the ease of doing business with SON in particular and Nigeria in general in line with the Federal Government’s policy.
He assured companies operating in the zone of expertise and professionalism from the SON staff as well as prompt attention and a quicker turnaround time.
Aboloma reiterated that the 35% minimum local value addition to products manufactured within the Free Trade zone is stipulated by law to be carried out by SON adding that it is binding on all manufacturers and regulatory authorities operating within the zone.
Welcoming the SON Chief Executive and entourage, the Sole Administrator of the Zone, Juwon Falope acknowledged the support of the SON State office in Ota in ensuring prompt certification of products in the zone especially on the 35% minimum local value addition and necessary guidance in standards implementation.
Falope extolled the various conformity assessment and certification programmes of SON, stating that they were brilliant in ensuring the zone remains one of the best in the country in terms of product quality.
He therefore challenged all regulatory agencies with oversight functions within the OFTZ to close ranks to avoid rancour from overlap of functions, stressing the need to recognize each other as stakeholders in the ease of doing business in the country.
Responding on behalf of the Chinese manufacturers, the Deputy Manager Guandong Free Trade Zone, Mr. Daniel Chin acknowledged SON for its efforts at leveraging on the partnership to industrialize the nation through its technical support to OGFTZ
According to Chin, there are about 30 companies with over 4,000 Nigerians and 250 Chinese gainfully employed at various factories within the cluster which has helped to curb crime and youth restiveness within the host community.
He also alluded to the fact that the visit of the DG SON was an eye-opener as they were now aware of other capabilities of SON in the areas of laboratory facilities and metrology for calibration of machinery and equipment.
Mr. Chin enumerated various corporate social responsibility activities that have been undertaken by the companies within the zone including provision of infrastructures like roads, health facility and educational scholarships which according to him has ensured relative peace and harmony in and around the OGFTZ.