The director general of Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) Osita Aboloma has stated the agency’s commitment to enforce the 35 per cent minimum local value addition to products manufactured within free trade zones as stipulated by law.
The director general who stated during a tour of the Guandong Free Trade Zone in Igbesa, Ogun State said the policy is binding on all manufacturers and regulatory authorities operating within the zone.
He 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.
Aboloma also said his visit was 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.
Welcoming the SON chief executive and entourage, the sole administrator of the zone, Mr. Juwon Falope acknowledged the support of the SON state office in Ota in ensuring prompt certification of products in the zone, especially 35 per cent minimum local value addition and necessary guidance in standards implementation.
He extolled SON’s various conformity assessment and certification programmes saying “they are brilliant in ensuring the zone remains one of the best in the country in terms of product quality.”
However, he challenged all regulatory agencies with oversight functions within the OFTZ to close ranks to avoid rancour arising from overlap of functions stressing the need for each agency to recognise each other as stakeholder in the ease of doing business in the country.
Responding on behalf of the Chinese manufacturers, the deputy manager of 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
Chin said are about 30 companies with over 4,000 Nigerians and 250 Chinese gainfully employed in various factories within the cluster.
He also alluded to the fact that Aboloma’s visit “is an eye-opener as they are now aware of other capabilities of SON in the areas of laboratory facilities and metrology for calibration of machinery and equipment.”
Chin said the firms had embarked in social responsibility programmes including provision of roads, healthcare facilities and academic scholarships which according to him “have ensured relative peace and harmony in and around the FTZ.”