By Merit Ibe
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has clinched the top spot as the foremost government agency in facilitating promotion of transparency and efficiency in the business environment according to the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC).
This achievement was brought to the fore in the PEBEC 2020/2021 Business Made Easy Report and the 2021 Executive Order 1 compliance report published recently.
According to the Special Adviser to the President on the Ease of Doing Business and Secretary, PEBEC, Jumoke Oduwole, the published report is in line with the Council’s commitment to continuously measure compliance to the Executive Order, EO1, on the promotion of transparency and efficiency in the business environment and to periodically capture the footprint of the Federal Government’s reform agenda.
She disclosed that an additional set of metrics was introduced in the latest ranking to measure the performance of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government with emphasis on functional Social Media channels for communication, the incorporation of the website assessment ranking of the Bureau for Public Service reforms as well as the Ethics and integrity scale of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, to further reduce the challenges faced by businesses and boost the competitiveness of Nigerian made products.
Commenting on the award, SON Director-General, Farouk Salim, said the organisation is committed to the promotion of domestic and foreign investments, creation of employment opportunities and continuous stimulation of the national economy through the diligent implementation of standardisation and quality assurance programmes in line with the Federal Government’s Ease of Doing Business policy.
The SON helmsman emphasised that SON has intensified efforts to remove product quality limitations and technical barriers to trade, TBTs, while improving the competitiveness and market acceptability of Made in Nigeria products locally and internationally.
He said the international accreditation of SON laboratories, the continuous improvement of its training and management system certification services and the ongoing automation of all its services to stakeholders are aimed at greater efficiency, reduced turnaround time and promotion of the Ease of Business in and with Nigeria.
Also speaking on the award, SON Desk Officer, PEBEC, Phebean Arumemi reiterated that the organisation has placed renewed emphasis on improving its technology edge through automation to enhance its service delivery to Nigerians.
She stated that all SON conformity assessment programmes are now accessible online and the organisation has continually made efforts to improve on its service delivery, thus deserves the high rating because it took a lot of re-engineering to get the organisation where it is today.
“It shows what we are doing is right to come tops for the years under review 2020/2021 out of over 34 Ministries, Departments and Agencies and considering that this is the first time SON is coming tops with a cumulative score of 78% since the inception having at various times been 7th and 3rd positions, respectively,” she said.