NIGERIA – 16 businesses in Anambra State now have MANCAP certificates thanks to the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON).
The certificates pertain to 36 products that the organization had examined and approved as suitable for both domestic and foreign markets.
Mallam Salim Farouk, the Director General of SON, who presented the certifications to the businesses in Awka, the state capital, claimed that the organization adhered to the predetermined procedures before certifying the businesses and their goods.
Engineer Mr. Onipede Olanrewaju, the organization’s coordinator in the state, spoke on behalf of Farouk and explained that MANCAP was a mandatory product certification program established by the organization to ensure that locally produced goods are in compliance with the pertinent Nigerian Industrial Standards (NIS) before being offered for sale in the marketplace or exported.
“MANCAP was put in place in 2006 and basically, what gave birth to MANCAP was the Standards Organisation of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP) which is more for offshore goods.
“We now said that if we have to monitor the goods that come from abroad, what of the ones that are manufactured here? And that was why the issue of MANCAP came in. Earlier before the issue of MANCAP, we had what we call quality NIS,” he said.
The SON Director expounded on the various stages of certification noting that businesses receive a bronze mark after two years of conformity.
“After consecutively having a good product, the second award will be silver. After another five years, you get gold. After another 10 years, you get a diamond which is peak.
“MANCAP is a general certification that every manufacturer within the country or every local manufacturer must get for their products. It tells people about your product; it tells people outside what your product is all about. It shows that your product has passed through the test of time,” he said.
Farouk congratulated the businesses but not before issuing a warning that the certificates would only be valid as long as conformance was upheld, as reported by Joy Online.
“And I need to put this one across to us that our certificate is on loan. Anytime we find out that the product is not meeting up with the quality, the organization has the power to withdraw the certificate.
“It has never happened in Anambra and I know it will never happen here. So, I want to encourage those of us that are just coming to the stage; the work has just started,” he echoed.
MSMEs urged to uphold standards
Meanwhile, to increase confidence in Nigeria’s micro-scale business environment, regulators and stakeholders have pushed Micro, Small, and Medium-scale Enterprises (MSMEs) to adopt international best practices.
The call was placed at the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Business Optimisation clinic of the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce in Lagos.
Farouk represented by Phebean Arumemi, Head of the SME Desk at SON, highlighted MSMEs as being essential to the Nigerian economy.
He urged MSME operators to take advantage of the enabling business environment at SON that the Federal Government has created to support their expansion.
He advised companies to stop producing, selling or buying fraudulent and inferior goods because the standards organization was already implementing extensive changes to rid the nation of non-compliant corporate enterprises.
“The SON is committed to providing support to help MSME compliance and development for enhanced service delivery.
“Your business and the chamber can join the SON technical committee meetings to develop standards and standards implementation should form part of your companies’ policy with a timeline for implementation,” he said.
Mojisola Adeyeye, Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), stated that the organization was prepared to help MSMEs improve performance.
Adeyeye, represented by Mr. Ayankop Ayankop, Deputy-Director of NAFDAC, stated that the principal objective was to ensure the safety, efficacy, and quality of regulated products that were made, distributed, imported, sold, or consumed.