Osita Aboloma Esq., DG (SO) far left presenting his memorandum to the Council with Acting Chairman, Dr. Hamman (Centre) and other members listening with keen interest

The Governing Council of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has commended the Organisation for attaining International Accreditation for its Management Systems Certification (MSC) Services, describing it as a worthy feat for national capacity development.

The Council also congratulated the SON Chief Executive, Osita Aboloma Esq. for the international recognition of its Training Services for Management Systems Standards among other notable achievements.

The Chairman of the Council, Mr. Edet Akpan, who is also the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment gave the commendation while responding to the 2018 report of activities to the body by the Director General at the first Council meeting for 2019 held in Abuja.

He acknowledged SON’s increased tempo in the fight against substandard products through massive awareness creation and diligent prosecution of offenders. The Chairman urged the SON management to sustain the initiative.

Represented by Dr. Halilu Hamman, Chairman, Technical Committee of the Council, Mr. Akpan in his opening remarks stated that the meeting was to review the Organisation’s activities in the last year and articulate necessary policy support for the year ahead.

According to him, in spite of the busy political activities that characterized the beginning of the year, the SON Management got some Council members involved in international standardization meetings and forums to appraise themselves with the task and processes of standardization ahead.

Earlier while presenting his memorandum, the Director General, Osita Aboloma Esq. thanked the Council members for their unflinching support in achieving the recorded milestones, stating that the Federal Government had directed all Ministries, Agencies and Departments (MDAs) to patronize the SON MSC accredited services.

Mr. Aboloma disclosed that SON and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) renewed the Memorandum of Understanding between the two organisations aimed at utilizing the resources of ASTM to strengthen SON’s standards development system and promote knowledge of standards development activities of both organizations among other benefits. He stated that SON also won the ASTM Award for Global Cooperation spanning over 15 years.

The DG stated that the international accreditation for the Food Technology Laboratory for Biological and Chemical Testing, to ISO/IEC 17025:2005 (General Requirements for Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories) has been renewed until 2020.

Aboloma thanked the Council for its approval of 339 Nigeria Industrial Standards in 2018 with special focus on the products of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, stating that another set of 97 Standards had been presented to the Technical Committee of the Council for consideration and approval.

He enumerated other achievements to include;

  • increased patronage of the National Metrology Institute (NMI) Enugu, services for calibration of equipment, including by the Nigerian Air Force Central Avionics, Overhaul and Calibration Centre to enhance the Force capacity to test and repair its Air Crafts.
  • Successful hosting of the General Assembly of the Intra-African Metrology System (AFRIMETS) members from over thirty two African countries and experts from France and Germany at the National Metrology Institute (NMI), Enugu to rub minds on the science of measurement, accuracy and traceability.
  • SON initiation of the automation of its systems to provide electronic services, make it’s interaction with stakeholders seamless and reduce Turn-Around-Time (TAT), in a bid to promote greater efficiency and effectiveness in its service delivery.
  • Setting up of a new rapid response squad, Surveillance, Investigation and Monitoring (SIM) Unit, to further strengthen its machinery to confront the circulation of substandard, life-endangering and counterfeited products nationwide.
  • Diligent prosecution of standards infractions in line with the SON Act 14 of 2015 and the conviction of four people engaged in production and distribution of unwholesome and life endangering products.
  • Establishment of State Offices in Shaki, Oyo State, Niger State Office II in Suleija, Nassarawa State Office II in Mararaba and the Delta State Office in Asaba and plans to establish more State Offices in Bayelsa, Jigawa, Awka and Ogun Industrial Layout in order to spread its activities further, around the nooks and crannies of the country.

The SON DG also reported on massive infrastructural development around the Nation to create a conducive working environment for the staff for effective service delivery, in addition to the Ogba Laboratory Complex, the NMI, Enugu and Corporate Headquarters Annex building in Abuja. According to him, renovation works were carried out in Lekki, Katsina, Kano, Sokoto, Kaduna Textile Laboratory, Benin and Owerri offices in 2018.

He stated that State offices and laboratories complexes are currently under construction in Port Harcourt, Ekiti, Ilorin, Uyo and Bauchi, while the North Central Regional and FCT office is also under construction at Gudu, Abuja.

While seeking the Council’s continuous cooperation to get SON to the next level, the DG proposed that members undertake training on the ISO Quality Management Systems (QMS) Standard 9001:2015 for a greater insight into national and international standardization processes.

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