SON awards MANCAP certificates to 20 companies in Anambra •To deploy ICT for better performance

From Obinna Odogwu, (Awka) and Merit Ibe

Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) has awarded certificates to 20 companies which successfully passed through its Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) in Anambra State.

Some of them were issued certificates for their products for the first time while others whose products had earlier been certified were recertified as revalidation of certificates take place every three years. Director General of SON, Farouk Salim, while speaking at the event in Awka, the state capital, said that the MANCAP certificates issued to the companies were attestation that the products so certified were meant for the whole of African continent’s usage.

Salim, represented by the coordinator of the organization in the state, Olalekan Omoniyi, said that the products went through the rigorous processes that were used to ensure that a product or service had complied with the requirements of the national standard.

“With the award of MANCAP certification comes the attestation that these certified companies, though operating in Anambra State, are producing world class products”, he said.

General Manager of Dozzy Oil and Gas Ltd, Mr Amechi Ifedinezi, whose company’s product was recertified, commended SON, saying that the rigorous processes of the exercise were worth it.

Meanwhile, SON has expressed its commitment to deploy information and communication technology towards becoming a high performing agency.

This was one of the outcomes of the organisation’s strategic management retreat held in Calabar, Cross River State, last week at which the agency committed to giving high priority to automation of its services.

In a communique issued at the end of the retreat, the Director General, SON, Mallam Farouk Salim stated that the organisation has also developed its strategic plan for 2021 to 2024 to guide its programmes and actions geared towards achieving its set goals and targets.

The organisation, Salim said would consider the adoption of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System to fully automate and integrate its operations nationwide to achieve more effective and efficient service delivery.

He disclosed that SON would institute an efficient, open, transparent and effective performance measuring mechanism, as well as a reward and sanctions programme to ensure accountability and consequence management, stressing that staff recognition and reward programme will be put in place before end of 2021.

He  added that the organisation will strengthen its supervisory role over its stakeholders, to ensure that all its certified products deliver value for money to consumers while also tracking manufacturers and importers that use fake SON certification marks as well as logo for prosecution.

On enforcement of standards, the SON boss stated that the agency has resolved to adopt additional approaches including data analytics, risk-based assessment, outcome-focused regulation, collaborative, coordinated and proactive enforcement, among others.

Salim expressed SON’s commitment to the effective implementation of the National Quality Policy recently approved by the Federal Executive Council as well as the Nigerian National Standardisation Strategy to provide adequate support for economic development.

Other strategic decisions include having a 21st century work environment that is conducive and digital enabling, geared at maximising the potential of the employees towards achieving the goals and strategic objectives of the Agency and its staff.

“Attachment of SON staff to established National Metrology Institutes and testing laboratories outside the country for further exposure.

“Consideration of retired staff of the organisation as SON ambassadors and maintenance of established procedure for the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme for locally manufactured products.”

The communique concluded that the implementation of the retreat report and the resolutions would be tracked and reviewed at the Quarterly management performance review sessions that will hold within one month of the end of each quarter, as well as at the next strategic leadership retreat.

Facilitators at the retreat included Dr. Dakuku Peterside, former director general, NIMASA, Dr. Joseph Odumodu, former director general, SON, Mr Osuagwu Uwanuakwa, a retired permanent secretary and Dr. Eric Ighalo, a renowned  trainer.