By Dipo Olowookere
The laboratory centre of the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) in the Ogba area of Lagos State should begin full operations by March this year.
Chairman of the House of Representative Committee on Industry, Mr Abubakar Moriki, made this known when his 8-man team inspected the project, which is 95 percent completed.
Touring the four-storey complex, which includes refrigerator testing chamber, food microbiology, food data processing unit, among others, the lawmaker said full operation should begin by March.
He commended the spate of construction and equipping, noting that observation of the laboratory complex will form the basis for the provision of facilities to jump start operations.
Mr Moriki, who praised the Director-General of SON, Mr Osita Aboloma, explained that the inspection was necessary to ascertain the depth of implementation of 2017 budget in preparation for the passing of the 2018 appropriation bill.
“Towards the tail end of 2016, we were here and the project was at an appreciable level of completion though the equipment were not installed and positioned in their respective offices.
“Now in 2018 and in the process of considering the appropriation for SON, it is necessary to come and visit the facility and see other places where they are conducting their operations,” he said.
The lawmaker further urged the DG to ensure strategic distribution of the testing equipment across regional laboratories to avoid concentration in a locale.
“We should be looking forward to seeing many of these testing equipment separated all over, not necessarily concentrated on one location. It is a service you provide to all industries,” Mr Moriki told the SON boss.
Welcoming the delegates, Mr Aboloma said the organisation was deeply committed to realising the country’s goal of standardisation both locally and internationally.
He said the laboratory has also been designed to accommodate standardisation needs of the West African sub-region.
Mr Aboloma said analysis of locally made cement components and products for instance will no longer be a challenge as the chemical and tensile test analysis laboratory should be operational shortly, to certify strength of compression and other parameters shortly, thereby limiting the risks of building collapse.
He noted that the next phase of laboratories infrastructure will be spread to the regions beginning with Northeast, Southeast and Southwest.
“We have been looking forward to this visit because you are our major advisers. We are open minded and open for change. We are open to anything that would add value to the work we do.
“This laboratory has been accredited to ensure that anything certified in Nigeria will be acceptable all over the world,” he said.
Patrick Aisowieren, Micky Kazzim, Sam Onuigbo, Ahmad Kalambaina, Mohammed Ibrahim, Baderinwa Bamidele and Yusuf Buba were other members of the inspecting team.
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