The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb Mariam Katagum has stressed that Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are the engines of economic growth.
According to the minister, they also contribute nearly 50 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and over 80 per cent of employment in Nigeria.
Amb. Katagum, who noted this in Abuja during the 50th anniversary of the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) noted that given her role at the forefront of the promotion of government’s policies on the Ease of Doing Business and the promotion of the growth of MSMEs, she in a position to vouch for the positive role of SON in the growth of this sector.
She said it activities, especially through the MANCAP scheme, have contributed immensely to the increased acceptability of Nigerian made products in the international market, which is one of the achievements of the present administration.
“The role of SON in achieving this is obvious as the assurance of adherence to internationally accepted standards, which SON ensures, will eliminate technical barriers to trade, making our products more competitive.
“In acknowledgement of its consistent implementation of reforms aimed at making its services more easily accessible to the public, SON has been ranked first in the Ease of Doing Business by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC).
“The accomplishments of SON, over the past 50 years, could not have been possible without the strong support of successive governments especially the various Ministers of Industry and Trade,” she said.
Also, the Director General of SON, Mallam Farouk Salim while acknowledging the modest achievements and strides of SON in the last 50 years, said his vision for the Organisations in the next 50 years is to be the foremost standardization body in Africa and globally.
He noted that while the vision is achievable, the Organisation will need to surmount severe challenges such as political, changes in Government policies like the often removing the of Organization at points of entry amongst others .
To meet the expected challenges, he said, there is need to evolve as a dynamic and innovative body investing in the following critical areas Efficient workforce with the required skill set, cutting edge technology, appropriate and strategic infrastructure and enhanced meaningful collaboration with stakeholders.