Salim identifies industrialisation as panacea to security, economic challenges  

Group Managing Director, African Industries Group, Alok Gupta (left) taking SON DG, Farouk Salim through the project site plan of ANRML in Kaduna State during the facility tour.

The Director-General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Farouk Salim, has said support to local industries is the panacea for the myriad of security and economic challenges bedevilling the nation.

Salim said this during a facility tour of the African Natural Resources and Mines Limited (ANRML) located at Gujeni, Kagarko Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

He reiterated the need to protect indigenous firms to guarantee the protection, safety, greatness and progress of the country and Nigerian.

According to him, Nigeria is blessed with enormous natural and human resources that need investments to harness the inherent benefits with its attendant multiplier effect on individuals, families, communities, companies and the national economy as a whole.

Salim said: “One of the reasons the nation is battling insecurity is the lack of adequate protection for local industries leading to shut down, loss of jobs and income, which leads some into criminal activities.”

He argued that gainful employment will provide regular disposable income for the citizen’s wellbeing, payment of personal and company taxes, self-respect and dignity thus discouraging banditry, terrorism, cultism, separatism and generally social vices.

Salim commended the African Industries Group (AIG), the parent company of ANRML for believing in Nigeria and re-investing millions of dollars in the country even 50 years after, thus contributing to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).

He described ANRML investment as one of the largest in Nigeria currently, outside the oil and gas sector, stressing that its production of high quality products under SON guidance for local consumption and export will attract the much-needed foreign exchange for the country.

“It is therefore SON’s priority to make the Nigerian industry an entity safe for the workers, competitive for the investors and producing quality goods to meet the needs of our large population and export to the huge potential markets in the West African region with technical support and guidance,” he said.

He also called on prospective investors to emulate ANRML and become a part of the journey to improve the lives of Nigerians while also enjoying high return on their investment.

One of the reasons the nation is battling insecurity is the lack of adequate protection for local industries leading to shut down, loss of jobs and income, which leads some into criminal activities.

Competitive products

Welcoming Salim to the Gujeni Integrated Iron Ore Mining and Processing Project site earlier, the Group Managing Director, AIG, Alok Gupta, commended SON’s role in making Nigerian products globally competitive through its quality assurance activities.

He said these also help to build consumer confidence for products certified by the Organisations.

Gupta disclosed that the Group has been in operation in Nigeria for over 50 years with diversified operations in steel, chemicals, commodities and power generation.

According to him, AIG is synonymous with quality products that are certified under the SON Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme as well as international standards, adding that the company was the first in Nigeria to export steel products to international destinations.

He said: “With the abundance of iron ore in the country, the company decided to go for backward integration by setting up an integrated iron ore plant in the country, making ANRML Nigeria’s largest non-oil foreign direct investment (FDI), which will catalyse the development of steel and manufacturing as a whole.”

Gupta also said the project is expected to have lasting socio-economic benefits through creation of job opportunities, social infrastructure, skill development, contribution to the GDP, and more importantly, saving scarce foreign exchange by means of import substitution.

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