… As NSE seeks more investment in engineering education***
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has promised to protect indigenous manufacturers and consumers through more robust and effective market surveillance.
Mr Olanrewaju Onipede, Coordinator of SON in Anambra gave the assurance in an interview in Awka on Monday.
Onikpede who assumed office as coordinator in the state recently described Anambra as a big industrial hub with huge market that is strategic in Nigeria and in West African sub-region.
He said SON would ensure that local manufacturers were regulated to conform with world best practices and protected from activities of counterfeit peddlers and importers of substandard products.
“The Anambra commercial and business environment is interesting, the people are industrious and they really want to help the economy but the aspect we want them to pay more attention to, is quality and conformity.
“I and members of my team are working out effective modalities for that and I believe that by God’s grace, we will be able to achieve great feat in that direction.
“My strategy is to empower the market survey team to enable it go to manufacturers and markets and get products, so they could be subjected to laboratory analysis a regular basis.
“We will be having unannounced visits to these companies to see their manufacturing processes and samples of finished products to ascertain that they conform with standards.
“Normally, within the state office, we carry out quarterly inspection and as we are talking, my teams are in the field on surveillance and we will try within our reach to carry out training for manpower to boost their capacity,” he said.
Onikpede said SON took protection of consumers seriously and would ensure that they got the full value of their money when they purchase any product under the organisation’s regulation.
He said beyond enforcement, SON would adopt advocacy and collaboration with associations to ensure sanity in the market.
“We have a committee which will be facilitating periodic interface between SON and market or manufacturing associations, we are going to change the orientation, so that they too can see the need for quality market.
“My message is that they should check out for MANCAP and SON logo, which is the mark for assurance of quality.
“We have a consumer complaint desk here in Awka, so we encourage those who have issues to report such issues, provided they have the receipt,” he said.
In another development, the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) on Sunday urged the Federal Government to increase investment in engineering education, to help tackle poverty and employment.
Dr Sunday Popo-Ola, a fellow of NSE and the immediate past Chairman, NSE London, UK Branch, made the appeal at a business luncheon and induction of new members of Apapa Branch, NSE, in Lagos.
According to him, the competency of engineers plays a key role in the nation’s prosperity.
He said that a 21st century engineering student would acquire skills to transform and meet future socio-economic needs in Nigeria.
“Twenty-first century engineering education creates ability to start your own business using skills acquired at the university.
“Also, it is a bridge between education system and employment, creates competent and self-reliant graduates, great economic opportunity for the country, and reduces the poverty level, ” he said.
Popo-Ola, who was guest speaker, said that 21st century engineering education would encourage innovation and technological advancement.
Another NSE fellow, Dr Garba Maikasuwa, stressed that there was the need for Nigeria to raise competent graduates that were ready to create jobs.
Maikasuwa said it would require synergy, funding and commitment on the part of government institutions and industries.
According to him, such partnership will help the country develop graduates to meet up with the 21st century challenges.
“There is the need to invest in tools and equipment to enable teachers to match theories with practicals.
“This is important so that when a student graduates, he or she will be fit, and then create jobs for others; he will be able to use his skills to develop and create wealth for the nation, ” he said.
In her remarks, Mrs Funmilade Akingbagbohun, National Vice Chairman, Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said that the country’s educational system in terms of engineering had a lot of flaws.
Akingbagbohun, a fellow of NSE and immediate past Chairman of the Ikeja Branch of the society, commended the Apapa wing for taking the right steps in its effort to correct the system.
“One of the key things that need to be done is to change the system from the base, not only from the tertiary education, but from the secondary,” she said.
Akingbagbohun also advocated the training of teachers using STEM and putting teachers through to train the students in ways that would make sciences and mathematics interesting.
She said that with these, “the students will understand the rudiments and foundation of mathematics and sciences that will lead them in engineering” .