The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) Governing Council has approved 168 new Standards for publication and dissemination to various sectors of the economy in furtherance of the Federal Government’s economic diversification policy.
Rising from its virtual meeting, Chaired from Abuja by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI), Dr. Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, the Council also put its seal on the first ever Nigerian National Standardization Strategy (NNSS) 2020–2022, developed by SON to identify priority areas to focus on, based on national needs assessment.
Dr. Sani-Gwarzo, said the document was accompanied by a National Implementation Plan that gives orientation for national standardization work within the three years duration.
He noted that a total of 658 standardization have been identified as projects in key priority areas classified by economic sectors as highlighted in Federal Government’s Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP), the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) and other related national strategic plans.
The SON Council Chairman described the establishment of the Nigerian National Standardization Strategy as an outstanding achievement of the Director General and his Management.
He also commended the SON Management for resolving all promotion arrears, conducting staff promotion as at when due and the resolve to go ahead with the 2020 promotion exercise in spite of the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr. Sani-Gwarzo conveyed the Council’s approval of the request for the conduct of the 2020 promotion exercise with innovative latitude to ensure compliance with the infection prevention and control measures put in place by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) not later than August 2020.
Director General, SON, Osita Aboloma gave assurance to supporting the Federal Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, leveraging on its international collaboration to make international standards available to local manufacturers at no cost.
He said the organisation also waived charges relating to importation of essential materials while fast tracking the process.
Mr Aboloma stated that SON provided necessary technical quality assurance support to local manufacturers involved in the manufacture of Personal Protective Equipment required for the prevention and control of COVID-19 Nationwide, through its state offices.
Commenting on the approved 168 Nigerian Industrial Standards by the Council after the meeting, the SON Chief Executive enumerated them as 64 for Electrical/Electronic products; 53 for Chemical Technology; 47 for Food and Agricultural products; 3 for Civil/Building Technology products as well as the reviewed standard for Hotel and Serviced Accommodation Management System and Rating – Requirements and Guidance for Use.
Aboloma highlighted some of the standards as including; review of standards for fertilizers, review of existing and development of new standards for the Tomato and Cassava Value Chains, adoption of international standards on Environmental Testing, adoption of international recommendations for renewable energy and hybrid systems for rural electrification among many others.
The Director General gave assurance that the approved standards would be published promptly while awareness programmes would be carried out with relevant sectoral stakeholders, to encourage voluntary uptake of the standards across industries.
Mr Aboloma reiterated that the newly approved 168 Nigerian Industrial Standards cut across various products and services and are of great economic, regulatory and industrial importance for the country.
On the importance of the strategy, he said that it would enable the Nation to develop standards in a most effective way, using available resources in the most efficient manner.