Representative of DG SON, Dr. Paul Angya, Director SON’s Consult

E-Commerce business is on the rise world –wide and Nigeria contributes its own share to the multibillion dollar industry with online transactions going on daily. However with a booming business such as this in an environment such as ours, its operations are bound to be fraught with many glitches and complaints.

To this effect Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) in furtherance of its statutory mandate put together a one day stakeholder forum on e-commerce with the theme: Facilitating Trade within and Across Borders in a Digitalized World.

In a keynote address delivered by Dr. Paul Angya, Director Corporate Affairs and SON Consult, the Director General, SON Mr. Osita Aboloma stated that the forum was organized to provide a platform for setting up a robust regulatory frame work for the 13-billion-naira worth e-commerce sector. Such framework, according to him, will help increase investor confidence and customer patronage as well as boost the nations GDP.

The SON Chief Executive alluded to increase in e-commerce business through the internet’s vast potentials which has made it easy for established businesses and start ups to reach out to a larger pool of customers and prospects.  This he said, further underscores the need for standardization and regulation of the quality of products and services on cyberspace.

According to the DG, there is no better time than now for SON to provide a forum for consumers, consumer groups, telecommunication companies, banks, airlines, regulatory bodies, advertising practitioners, embassies and online marketers among others to interact and chart a way forward for e-commerce in Nigeria.

The DG SON further stated that regulation of the e-commerce has become imperative with the volume of consumer complaints being received by SON, the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) and other sister agencies for failed services and the questionable quality of products sold on line.

Products like mobile phones, electrical and electronics devices especially cannot be physically viewed and tested before purchase online, while some claims on what they can do have been found in many cases to be inaccurate or outrightly false, he said.

According to him, “it is expected that decisions reached at this forum will foster positive changes that will ensure improved customer satisfaction and consumer protection and ultimately guarantee the safety and security of on-line sales and marketing as well as ensure that only quality goods are provided for consumers”.

In his presentation, the Director General, Consumer Protection Council (CPC) Mr. Babatunde Irukera stated that the SON initiative is timely and will boost the operation of e-commerce. “Technology is not just the solution or platform, it is the market place and my advice to SON is to look at e-commerce as the market place and treat it as that”, he said.

Mr. Irukera advocated the need for manufacturers to provide back-up services to their dealers to mitigate the issues of warrantees, guarantees and return policy on goods and services that may fail to meet the required quality and standard.

Other presenters at the event were Mr. Tersoo Orngudwen, SON Director, Product Certification Directorate, who delivered a paper on “Future of Standards and Quality Regulation in E- Commerce” and Engr.  Oluwadamilare Ogunleye, CEO, who made a presentation on “E-Commerce Security and Regulatory Framework -Trading within and across borders”.

SON currently has standards related to e-commerce such as Product Liability Standards, Performance Standards, Codes of Practice and ISO 10002, ISO 25100 all applicable to e-commerce and is encouraging all players in the industry to take advantage of these and other regulations and guide lines as templates of operating business on cyberspace. Who said this???

ISO 10002 – Detail

ISO 25100 – Same

Director Product Certification, SON

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