The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has commenced the regulation of conformity assessment practices in Nigeria in fulfilment of the provisions of its enabling Act No. 14 of 2015 “to establish registration and regulation for National Standards, Standard Marks, Certification Systems and Licences”.
This indication was given by the Director General, Mallam Farouk Salim in Abuja recently at the inauguration of an Impartiality Committee to monitor and guide the activities of the National Registry of Conformity Assessment Practitioners (NRCAP), set up to ensure that all activities in Management System Standards implementation, Product Testing and Certifications in Nigeria are in compliance with international best practices.
According to Mallam Salim, the NRCAP activities will include the assessment and registration of competencies of:
- Management System Standards (MS) Auditors;
- Quality Inspectors;
- MS Certification Bodies;
- Management System Consultants;
- Management Systems Training Institutions;
- Testing Laboratories and
- Quality Inspection Bodies
He stated that the setting up of the NRCAP scheme was in order to establish a directory of verified and registered conformity Assessment Practitioners in Nigeria for all Laboratories, Management Systems Auditors, Trainers, Consultants, Inspectors as well as Inspection and Certification bodies.
The SON Chief Executive disclosed that the appointment of an Impartiality Committee was in line with international best practices to guarantee fairness and transparency in the activities of the NRCAP Unit, stressing that it is central to the operational strategy of the scheme.
Mallam Salim stated that the constitution of the Impartiality Committee was based on the attributes of due professional care, independence, confidentiality, integrity, proven experience in quality assurance and conformity assessment practice demonstrated over the years by the members in the course of their active work life, in addition to the existing strategic collaboration and partnership that SON shares with the various organisations that they represent.
He enumerated the Committee’s responsibilities as including technical evaluation of all information forwarded by the NRCAP desk regarding the applicants to the scheme, against the registration criteria. “You are to verify all the information and make recommendations to the Director General, SON while taking due care to safeguard the integrity of the registration process”, he said.
“This is a call to serve Nigeria and contribute to strengthening the operational efficiency of the national quality infrastructure through the implementation of proper control and monitoring structure for conformity Assessment Practitioners in Nigeria”, Salim told the Committee members.
According to him, a date for training on the Operational Guidelines of the scheme shall soon be communicated to the Committee members.
He enumerated the potential benefits of the scheme to the Nigerian economy as including:
- Documentation of all matters relating to standards as referenced in the SON Act.,
- Assurance to customers of quality products and services thus getting real value for money,
- Effective monitoring of the activities of the Conformity Assessment Practitioners in the Nigerian Market in line with international best practices and
- Protection of competent Conformity Assessment Practitioners and Organisations from unfair competition from quacks through enforcement of the registration of all Conformity Assessment Practitioners and Organisations operating in the Nigerian Market.
While congratulating the Committee members on their nomination, the SON Chief Executive urged them to bring their wealth of experience and expertise to bear on the task, to enhance socio-economic benefits, national growth, promotion of best global practices and national interest in all sectors of applicability.
Members of the Impartiality Committee of the NRCAP are Barr. Umaru Kawu, SON Director, Human Resource Management; Barr. Bashir Hamis, SON Director, Legal Services; Pharmacist Emeka Udeze, National Officer, NACCIMA; Dr. Nkechi Mba, Deputy Director, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission and Mr. Niran Ade-Onojobi, Assistant Director, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.