The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment believes the newly introduced Product Authentication Mark (PAM) will raise the quality of made-in-Nigeria products as well as their patronage, throwing its full weight behind the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON)’s plan to introduce the product this year.
Confirming this during a stakeholders’ meeting organised by SON to introduce PAM to members of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) last Thursday, Aisha Abubakar, minister of state for industry, trade and investment, described the move by the agency as critical to actualising the federal government’s diversification efforts towards increasing patronage of made-in-Nigeria goods and services as captured in the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) Executive Orders 001 and 003.
Abubakar explained that other countries had adopted such measures to protect their domestic market, stressing that the planned introduction of PAM was part of the measures adopted by SON to guarantee quality of products on sale in the Nigerian market.
“We shall continue to provide the necessary support needed by parastatals under our supervision to ensure effective delivery of their mandate to Nigerians in furtherance of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan,” she said.
“We believe that the PAM would complement the existing Nigerian quality mark (NIS), Nigeria Quality Award (NQA), MANCAP and SONCAP in ensuring that consumers are protected from the menace of substandard, cloned and counterfeited products,” she said.
Earlier, Osita Aboloma, director general, SON, had said that PAM was part of efforts to create an enabling environment for diversification of the economy and ensure control of goods consumed by Nigerians.
Aboloma stated that major challenges hindering the sale of goods in Nigeria were cloning and faking of successful products. “We had to think outside the box to tackle this menace headlong. Cloning has exposed the lives of Nigerians to serious health and commercial trauma. It has also discouraged a lot people from investing in Nigeria. We had to bring the PAM to harmonise the existing products we have. It is also an attempt to accelerate technological innovations in effective service delivery so that our MANCAP and SONCAP can be codified and made simpler for the consumers to identify the genuineness of a product before purchase.”
He informed the minister that the Lekki, Lagos office, was the operational head office of the agency with best laboratories in Africa.
Iyalode Alaba Lawson, national president, NACCIMA, said standards would give manufacturers a competitive edge for their products and convince consumers of the quality of the products.
“It will also go a long way in increasing the competitiveness of locally manufactured products and increase the confidence they exude locally and internationally,” Lawson said.
She further said that the stakeholders’ forum also provided an opportunity for manufacturers, suppliers, exporters and importers to convey their views on different issues concerning standards while commending SON for such initiative.
According to her, standards were essential to boosting the productivity and performance of a country’s domestic and international trade.