Recently, the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) organized a 5/Days management retreat tagged: “2021 Strategic Leadership retreat” held at Transcorp Hotels, Calabar Cross River State to reposition the agency as a role model in safeguarding Nigerians from the menace of substandard products.
Mallam Farouk A. Salim, Director General/ Chief Executive (SON) who spoke with newsmen at the end of the retreat said that there will be major restructuring in the organization to meet its four years Strategic Plan (2021-2024). Our correspondent in Cross River State, FRANCIS OGAR was there and has presented in slices to add feel to the report.
What Was the Theme of the Retreat?
The retreat themed, “SON Growing an Efficient and Effective Public Organisation”, is aimed at repositioning SON as a role model in safeguarding Nigerians from the menace of substandard products.
The aim of the retreat was not just to learn and share ideas, but to see that the Organisation achieved its full mandate of standardizing all aspects of life as expected.
I call on all present to come up with ideas and solutions that will galvanize the Organisation and bring it to the fore with a view to addressing challenges that inhibits it from discharging its mandates of primarily enforcing standards for the benefit of Nigerians and the economy.
I also charge participants to think out of the box and get SON vamped up for greater responsibilities to be felt throughout the Country in growing industries and the economy through strict application of Standardizations and Quality Assurances parameters.
A keynote address titled “Re-Positioning & Transforming Public Sector Agencies”, was given by Dr. Peterside Dakuku, a former Director General of Nigerian Maritime and Administration Safety Agency (NIMASA).
Why Are You Restructuring
The Agency will go through some restructuring to enable it align its services to better serve its stakeholders, meet the objectives of its 2021 to 2024 Strategic Plan thereby making positive impact on the average Nigerian.
A new Organizational Structure will be established for the Agency and a major component of the restructuring will be an effort to match appropriate skills in the various departments.
|What will be your focus on Performance of Management?
SON will focus on leaving a legacy of professionalism in its workforce
The Human Resource Department will carry out an overhaul of its current staff performance appraisal tools. SON will institute an efficient, open, transparent and effective performance measuring mechanism, as well as a reward and sanctions programme to ensure accountability and consequence management. A staff recognition and reward programme will be put in place before the end of 2021
Some cadres of staff such as laboratory scientists will be rewarded with special incentives. All issues related to delays in staff promotion will be resolved in 2021 and quarterly Management Performance Reviews will be carried out to assess the status and performance of departments.
What about Staff Training
There will be a significant investment in Staff Training in the Plan period and training needs assessment, as well as skill gap analysis will be conducted, as appropriate
A multi-avenue approach to training will be adopted training will include standards development, public sector administrative procedures, report writing, taking minutes of meetings & filing. New members of staff will go through induction programmes, Departmental attachments and rotation to various Departments.
Consideration will be given to the status of State Coordinators and Regional Directors, who are the main interface with the primary stakeholders and the face of the organization of Departments.
Members of staff will be encouraged to embrace the new work culture of the organization and inculcate the Agency’s core values in their day to day activities, within and outside the organization
The Human Resources Management Department will develop a system of deliberate mentoring and coaching amongst staff for succession planning and consideration will be given to sending relevant SON staff for attachments to established National Metrology Institutes and testing laboratories outside the country for further exposure.
What were some of the highlights of the Retreat?
SON will continue to implement the Nigerian National Standardization Strategy (NNSS) for its stakeholders. SON will domesticate other national and or international as appropriate to suit the country’s needs as dictated by relevant stakeholders. SON will work towards the establishment of a Centre of Standards Development and Excellence in partnership with tertiary institutions in the country.
SON will strengthen its supervisory role over its stakeholders, to ensure that all of its certified products deliver value for money to Consumers. SON will also track manufacturers that use fake SON certification marks as well as its logo on their products offered for sale to the Nigerian public. SON will in the near future mount a campaign to put them on notice.
I appealed to consumers to always check for the SON Logo before purchasing their products.
Is there any proposal for State Offices for collaboration with Government Establishments
SON State Offices will be encouraged and empowered to enter into further collaborations with State Governments and their Ministries of Education to establish Standards Clubs in Primary and Secondary Schools nationwide.
SON will continue to extend his hands of fellowship in order to ensure that mutually beneficial partnerships are entered into with the Presidency, the National Assembly, International/Multilateral/Bilateral Agencies, Sister Agencies, Manufacturers/Industrialists, Professional Bodies and the Media.
The implementation of the Retreat Report and the resolutions thereof will be tracked and reviewed at the Quarterly Management Performance Review Sessions that will hold within one month of the end of each quarter, as well as at the next Strategic Leadership Retreat.