By Miriam Humbe
Nigerian manufacturers, importers and consumers have been assured of improved service delivery from the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) in all areas of the agency’s mandate in year 2020.
Director General, SON Osita Aboloma Esq. gave the assurance in a media chat to review the activities of the organization in the past year and give insights into its areas of focus in year 2020.
Aboloma enumerated the areas as improved standards development, conformity assessment, products and management systems certification activities, metrology, national human capacity development through its training services as well as continuous Stakeholders’ engagement.
He described 2019 as being very eventful and enumerated some of the key activities and achievements as including:
Approval of 128 new standards by the standards council for use as Nigerian Industrial Standards which cut across various sectors of the economy with emphasis on the products of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
Coverage of more areas in the continuous stakeholders’ engagement activities through a structured sectoral programme nationwide with emphasis on improving Consumers’ knowledge about products and making them part of the quality vanguard.
International Accreditation for SON Management Systems Certification Services in addition to the revalidation of international accreditation for some of the laboratories with increased scope of testing
Increased certification of made-in-Nigeria products under the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP)
Automation of products certification and registration procedures for greater efficiency through drastic reduction in human interactions with improved turnaround time.
Introduction of electronic demand notes and receipts for all SON services including for ports and border operations and
Upgrading of the online application portal for the operation of the offshore Conformity Assessment Program (SONCAP) for processing of imports into Nigeria to achieve a shorter turnaround time, more efficient and effective service delivery to importers and other stakeholders.
The SON Chief Executive commended the organisation’s collaborative activities in 2019 with particular emphasis on standards development, enforcement and diligent prosecution of infractions.
Some of the agency’s key collaborators according to him include the Nigeria Customs Service, the organized private sector, the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management and the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation amongst many others.
Giving further insight into SON’s areas of focus in 2020, Aboloma said the organization is also committed to obtaining accreditation for more of its laboratories, increasing the scope of those already accredited and completion of ongoing infrastructural developments such as regional laboratory complexes and state offices.
He stated that training and retraining of staff will continue with greater emphasis on SON’s collaboration with sister regulatory and security agencies, the organized private sector and development partners.
The SON helmsman said the organisation shall intensify standards compliance and enforcement activities Nationwide and continue the prosecution of ongoing matters in the courts while being prepared to undertake new ones that may emerge.
He enjoined Nigerian manufacturers and importers to imbibe self-regulation while calling on consumers to join the SON quality vanguard by demanding quality at all times.
Aboloma also urged stakeholders to always report suspected standards infractions through the agency’s toll free lines, its interactive website as well as 42 State offices Nationwide.