The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and relevant stakeholders have reviewed standards to revive the nation’s paper industry with a charge to investors to deploy new technologies that are critical to improving their operations and market competitiveness in the years ahead.
The SON’s Director General, Osita Aboloma, who gave this hint at a technical committee meeting for standards consideration of pulp and paper, explained that the meeting was convened to ratify proposed standards critical to addressing the facing the industrial sub-sector.
The industry expert pointed out that standardization of the operations and processes of the paper industry had become imperative if investors desired returns on their investments and improved contribution of the sub-sector to national economic growth.
He said: “We need standards to guide some technical issues related to these products, perhaps this is what has been causing the collapse of some of our giant paper mills in the country, but with the set of these new standards, it would go a long way to revive some of our ailing industries. Controversies will be resolved with ease because we have a source of reference and the review will make us in tune with global best practices.”
Represented at the meeting by the Deputy Director, Standards Development Directorate and Group Head, Chemical Technical Group, Agboola Afolayan, the Director General said that the SON had been engaging experts in its drive to ensure that all operators and investors in varios sectors of the economy conform to global best standards in all aspects of their manufacturing and packaging processes.
According to him, the initiatives were driven largely by the fact that every sector needs standards for its operations to ease ways of doing business and promote trade.
Earlier in his remarks at the meeting, the Chairman of the Technical Committee, Dr. Chima Igwe, pointed out that without standards, quality products will not exist, adding that the meeting was convened to help review existing standards and develop new ones for papers and allied products’ industry.
Igwe, who is also the Director Chemical, Fibre and Environmental Department, Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi, (FIIRO), charged consumers in the country to look out always for quality products as SON was established to protect consumers.
According to him, in addition to the protection of local manufacturers of products, the SON through standards is also promoting the trade of paper and allied products, amongst others in furtherance of its mandate.
The research expert said: “The development of a country could be established via the quantity and the volume of paper the country uses whether for education or other domestic purposes. This technical committee is important because we used to have three paper mills, but all went comatose and later just one is about to come back.
“We are out to ensure that this mill do virgin pulping which is the key to paper production and not secondary fibre formulations like most companies are doing as stakeholders. The task is not going to be an easy one, because setting standards is not an easy task. Standards are consensus documents but it has to be grounded in science and technology”, he added.
Commenting on the importance of the parley, the Director of Laboratory Services, Institute of Public Analysts of Nigeria, (IPAN), Wole Opeoluwa, explained that the aim of the meeting was to enable end-users get the best from paper and allied products’ manufacturers and recyclers