10 April 2018

Nigeria: SON Trains Staff On Dispute Resolution to Facilitate Trade

In a bid to enhance service delivery as well as aid stakeholders' adoption and compliance to stipulated standards, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has improved the capacity of its staff on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) techniques.

The Director General, SON, Osita Aboloma, said the move by the agency was aimed at saving costs while also mitigating the suspension of economic activities that might arise from enforcing its statutory regulatory functions on importers of sub-standard goods to the country.

Aboloma, added that ‎ADR has been used as an instrument of standardisation and quality assurance in developing most economies across the world hence, Nigeria needed follow the trend in its quest to achieve economic growth and development.

Although the general provisions in the new SON Act has empowered the agency to prosecute perpetrators of substandard products manufacture, importation and distribution while also providing stiffer penalties for convictions including jail terms, the agency is exploring measures at resolving conflicts without wasting resources or stalling economic activities.

The SON boss during the flag-off of the ADR training of SON State Coordinators in the Northern, Zone, at Abuja recently, stated that the ADR became necessary to complement the Federal government's ease of doing business policy, pointing out that the agency is equipping its state heads across the federation with techniques across global trend on dispute resolution.

According to him, SON had so far trained about 40 of its staff from different departments on ADR and plans to train many more. The SON chief executive stated that ADR provides greater choices for settlement of disputes and misunderstandings in the workplace, businesses and private interactions under a win situation.

Aboloma said, the agency has been empowering its staff with skills to handle conflicts that may arise from complaints handling, market survey and stakeholders engagement, adding that it was strengthening its internal mechanisms to combat substandard products head on while urging all Nigerians to join hands with SON in order to create greater opportunities for genuine and certified locally manufactured products to thrive.

The DG pledged the agency's total commitment to protecting the lives and property of Nigerians as well its economy using the instruments of standardisation and quality assurance.

Nigeria

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