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A Nigerian Industrial Standard is document established by consensus and approved by the Standards Council of SON, that provides, for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics for products and services and related processes or production methods, aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context. It may also include or deal exclusively with terminology, symbols, packaging, marking or labeling requirements as they apply to a product, process or production method. Standards, therefore, help to make sure that products and services are fit for their purpose and are comparable and compatible.

The standardization activities are managed by the Director of Standards with the support from the Groups Heads who coordinate the activities of these Technical Groups:

  • Electrical/Electronic Group: This group is responsible for the development of standards on electro-technology, information technology, renewable energy, telecommunication, etc.
  • Food/Codex Group: is responsible for the development of standards covering food technologies, food safety, agricultural produce, livestock and livestock products, poultry and poultry product and Codex matters.
  • Chemical Technology Group: This group is responsible for the development of standards covering soaps, detergents, paints, pesticides, pulp/paper and all products based on chemical formulations.
  • Civil/Building Group: This group develops standards covering civil engineering, building construction, wood technology, etc.
  • Service Standards Group: This group is charged with the development of standards in the service sector such as Health and hospitality, Financial and insurance, Technical and scientific, Sales and merchandising, Professional and educational, Utilities and communications, Administrative and governmental etc.
  • Mechanical/Metrology Group: This group develops standards on mechanical engineering, metrology, pressure vessels, motor vehicle parts, pipes, etc.The director manages the activities of the directorate with support of Seven Group Heads who coordinates the activities of the seven technical departments in the Organization.
  • Textile & Leather Group: This group develops standards covering clothing, textiles, leather and footwears, etc.
  • International Standards group: This group handles international matters on standards e.g. standards harmonization, collaboration issues, International Organization for Standardization (ISO),International Electro-chemical Commission (IEC), Codex Alimentraius Commission, Africa Organization for Standardization (ARSO), World Trade Organization (WTO) and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
  • Technical Library : This section is responsible for the maintenance and availability of standards information, documentation, editing and publishing center and sales of standards, etc.

In order to develop Nigerian Industrial Standards, SON has established definite structures which seek to establish stakeholder consensus in compliance with ISO/IEC Guide 59. ISO/IEC Guide 59 establishes modalities which ensure that standards are developed through procedures which are transparent, consultative and that eventually, the formal approval of standards is based on evidence of consensus.

Technical Committees have stakeholders drawn from the following categories:

  • Government Lead Agency/Regulatory Authority
  • Manufacturers, producers or service providers
  • Major corporate consumers
  • Consumers  Protection association
  • University, Research and other Technical Institutions
  • Industry Association
  • Trade Association
  • Professional Body
  • Consumer Organization
  • Non Governmental Organization, (NGO)
  • Renown Professionals/experts

SON Technical Committees

Standing National Technical Committees

How Standards Are Developed

Nigerian Industrial standards development process follows a well-defined, highly controlled procedure.

When a proposal for the development of a standard is submitted, our rigorous process begins called the initiation stage.

  • Preliminary stage
    Evaluation of the proposal /application, and submission  of the project for review and authorization to proceed.
  • Proposal stage
    We publicize our intent to proceed and assign your project to an existing or specially formed technical committee.
  • Preparatory stage
    We prepare a working draft of the proposal and establish a schedule.
  • Committee stage
    The assigned technical committee / subcommittee develops a draft using an iterative process.
  • Inquiry stage
    Once a draft is complete, we put the draft standard out for public review and comment. Then, the technical committee reaches consensus and our internal staff conducts a quality review. Finally, a pre-approval edit of the standard is completed.
  • Approval stage
    The relevant technical committee approves technical content of the draft via ballot or recorded vote. We then undertake an additional review to verify that all procedures were followed throughout the development process.
  • Publication stage
    We conduct a final edit to verify conformity with our numerous editorial and procedural requirements. Once we complete these final steps, the standard is send for approval by the governing council of the SON and from there, published and disseminated.
  • Maintenance stage
    NIS standards are continually maintained to ensure they stay current and technically valid. To help ensure this, we will periodically publish amendments and/or interpretation of clauses. All of our standards go through systematic reviews no less than every five years.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) requires all signatories to the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) to establish a National Inquiry Point and Notification Authority to gather and efficiently distribute trade-related regulatory, standards and conformity assessment information to the WTO Member community.

SON as the apex Standardization body of Nigeria, serves as the Nigerian source for standards and standards-related information at home and abroad.

SON provides bibliographic information on Nigerian, foreign, regional, and international voluntary standards, mandatory government regulations, and information’s on Impending implementation of new or revised technical regulations in the country, Code of Good Practice on the preparation, adoption, and application of standards and conformity assessment procedure ,Statements of Implementation and Administration of the TBT Agreement, Bilateral or Plurilateral agreements conformity assessment procedures for non-agricultural products.

The WTO secretariat then makes this information available to all WTO members. In this way the WTO-TBT Agreement ensures that the whole system of technical regulations is open and transparent.

Issuing notifications

The SON serves as  National Enquiry Point issues notifications to the WTO secretariat concerning;

  • Impending implementation of new or revised technical regulations in the country.
  • Code of Good Practice on the preparation, adoption, and application of standards and conformity assessment procedures, Statements of Implementation and Administration of the TBT Agreement, Bilateral or Plurilateral agreements.

Handling enquiries

SON NEP responds to enquiries on standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures. The enquiries may emanate from the local industry or from foreign investors based in other WTO member states.

Provision of documents related to notifications

The National Enquiry Point facilitates the provision of full regulatory text of the notifications upon request.

Handling of comments on Notifications

NEP handles comments received from foreign countries on Nigerian notifications.

Dissemination of foreign notifications to the Industry

The NEP staff downloads notifications from the WTO website.
The summaries of notifications are then carefully screened and channeled to the affected Nigerian’s exporters/importers and other stakeholders (such as industry, the various standards development technical committees, the academia, consumer organizations, research institutions etc) – for information, review and comments.

Provision of information

The NEP serves as a referral service focal point in Nigeria for trade information and about standards, standards-related documentation, technical regulations/rules, and conformity assessment procedures.

Conformity assessment activities include standardization, inspection, market surveillance, testing, certification, metrology and accreditation are mainly implemented by governmental regulatory authorities.

The NEP staff responds to written, telephone, fax, email and walk-in requests for information. Searches are made using various hard copy indexes, CD-ROM indexes, the internet and by consulting professionals and standards-developing organizations world-wide.

The information tools used by the enquiry point to respond to enquiries include a database and notifications alert bulletin issued fortnightly.

The CODEX Unit is currently a unit in the directorate of Standards and performs the following major specific activities:

  • Codex Contact Point (CCP) in Nigeria: The unit act as the link between the Codex Alimentarius Commission (joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme), the Secretariat/CCPs of other Countries and Nigeria.
  • National Codex Committee (NCC) Secretariat: NCC is a structure put in place by the Nigerian Government to enable her function effectively in Codex. The Secretariat for NCC is resident in SON and Codex Unit performs this function as provided in the NCC Procedural Manual.
  • Universal Salt Iodization/Iodine Deficiency Disorder (USI/IDD) Task Force Secretariat: This Task Force was established with the mandate to achieve/maintain USI certification and reduce/eradicate IDD in Nigeria. This unit acts as the Secretariat for this Task Force as well as ensures quarterly monitoring of Vitamin A fortification of the selected food vehicles to generate data in order to determine levels of compliance by relevant industries.
Download National Codex Committee Procedural Manual