The Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) was established by an Enabling Act Number 56 of December 1971 – the Standards Organization of Nigeria cap 412 of the laws of Federal Republic of Nigeria, with a commencement date of 1 January 1970, when the Organization started to function. The Act has three amendments: Act No. 20 of 1976, Act No. 32 of 1984 and Act No. 18 of 1990 and Act No. 9 of 2004.
Act No. 9 of 2004 has been repealed and replaced with Act No. 14 of 2015.
SON’s governing body is known as the Standards Council of Nigeria. This is the Policy making body for supervising the administration and financial management of the Organization. The Director General of the Organization is the Chief Executive whose responsibilities revolve around the day-to-day administration of the Organization within the broad guidelines approved by the Council.
THE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS
- POWERS OF THE MINISTER – Power to give directives to SON; power to declare established standard as binding, power to direct a supplier to recall a defective commodity on the recommendation of the Organization, etc.
- POWERS OF STANDARDS COUNCIL OF NIGERIA – Power to designate, establish and approve standards in respect of metrology, materials, commodities, structures and processes for the certification of products in commerce and industry throughout Nigeria. Power to authorize the recognition of quality certification bodies, inspection bodies, testing laboratories, calibration laboratories and qualified personnel related to these activity areas operating legally. Power for establishment of an import and export product surveillance and to carry out any other functions imposed on it under this Act or any other written law; power to make rules.
- POWERS OF SON- Power to organize tests, investigate into the quality of facilities, materials and products, ensure reference standards for calibration and verification of measures and measuring instruments, register and regulate standard marks and specifications. Administer and enforce provisions of the Act. etc.
- POWERS OF DIRECTOR GENERAL – Power to enforce standards, quality control of products, science of measurement and all matters relating to metrology; investigate quality of products etc. seize, seal, destroy or prohibit the sale of substandard products; right of access to any premises, including all Nigerian Seaports, Airports and Borders where industrial or commercial undertaking is being carried out to perform her functions, while every officer of the Organization shall have the power, rights, privileges and protection equivalent to that of a Police Officer
MANDATE OF STANDARDS ORGANISATION OF NIGERIA
- Evaluation of quality assurance activities, including certification of systems, products and laboratories throughout Nigeria
- Designation, establishment, approval and declaration of standards in respect of metrology, materials, commodities, structures and processes.
- Certification of products in commerce and industry throughout Nigeria.
- Certification and conformity assessment scheme.
- Quality control of products, weights and measures.
- Matters relating to metrology- ensure reference standards for calibration and verification of measures and measuring instruments.
- Investigation of quality of products etc.
- Enforcement of Standards.
- Quality management.
- Registration and regulation of standard marks and specifications etc.
- Compilation of an inventory of products in Nigeria requiring standardization
- Establishment of an import and export product surveillance.
- Establishment of a mandatory conformity assessment programme for locally manufactured products in Nigeria;
- Registration and regulation of standards, marks and certification; and
- Establishment and maintenance of Laboratories.
- Compilation and publication of Scientific or order data.
- Sponsoring national and international conferences.
- Proffering professional advice to government of the federation or state on specific problems relating to Standards specifications.
- Establishment of Standard Library.
Standard Organization of Nigeria is committed to delivering superior quality service and meeting the desires of our client and highest standard for the economy. Our strategy is built on understanding were we are now and were we need to be and also delivering the most relevant brands to meet differing preferences whilst retaining brand loyalty. We achieve these aims by continually taking the lead in product-Service innovation and quality initiatives.
- Consumer Protection and Engagement
- Improving the Competitiveness of Local Products
- Aggressive Conformity Assessment
- Media Engagement
- Global relevance
- Capacity Building
SON’S MANDATORY REGULATIONS
There are several regulations made by the standards council and approved by the minister or executive council under the powers given to the council and minister under sections 3, 4, 23. Some of the regulatory requirements include:
- The mandatory SONCAP PROGRAMME (Offshore Conformity Assessment Programme) for imported goods.
- The mandatory MANCAP Programme (Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme) for locally manufactured products.
- The Mandatory Products Registration Programme etc.
SONCAP is a pre-shipment verification of conformity to Standards process used to verify that products to be imported into Nigeria are in conformity with the applicable NIS or approved equivalents, and technical regulations before shipment. Under the SONCAP regime, imports are required to undergo verification and testing at country of supply (Exporting) and a SONCAP Certificate (SC) issued demonstrating that the products meet the applicable standards and regulations or a Non-Conformity Report (NCR) where the goods do not comply. The conformity assessment elements undertaken in SONCAP include but not limited to physical inspection prior to shipment, sampling, testing and analysis in accredited laboratories, audit of product processes and systems, and documentary check of conformity with regulations and overall assessment of conformity to standards.
The objectives of the programme include but are not limited to the following:
- Ensure that regulated products comply with the NIS or approved standards prior to export to Nigeria
- Provide a level playing field in terms of quality for both regulated and locally manufactured products in order to prevent unfair competition
- Prevent the dumping of substandard goods into the Nigeria market and as a result preventing economic loss to the importer and the nation at large
- Impede loss of lives and property including foreign exchange bearing in mind that the exporting country/Exporter have been paid for the goods shipped into Nigeria
- Forestall any adverse reaction (such as environmental pollution occasioned by destruction of substandard products) by regulatory Agencies on arrival of such goods in Nigeria
- Facilitate trade through fast track clearance of goods at the ports
- Encourage genuine investors and investments in Nigeria
- Promote made in Nigeria products
- Conserve foreign exchange
PRODUCT CERTIFICATION FOR EXPORTS
The Product Certification Directorate is responsible for ensuring that locally manufactured products in Nigeria give the required degree of satisfaction to consumers through compliance with Government policies on standardization and conformity assessment. The purpose is to promote global competitiveness among domestic manufacturers and encourage continual improvement on the quality of products in line with the statutory obligation of the Standards Organization of Nigeria.
Products Certification for Export involves activities relating to issuance of Certificates of conformance to applicable standards or contractual documents for products to facilitate export trade. It applies to specific consignments meant for export by the applicant.
PORTS AND BORDER OPERATION
SON is actively involved in import inspection of goods and quality assessment at the ports and through her activities on the SINGLE-WINDOW platform. The importance of this exercise is enormous, considering the economic and health/safety implications of influx of substandard goods into the country. SON has established her presence in virtually all the seaports, land borders, airports and Nigeria States’ Capital.
For more information on the activities of the Standards Organization of Nigeria, kindly log on to http://www.son.gov.ng