NIGERIA – The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has met with key stakeholders during the National Register for Conformity Assessment Practitioners (NRCAP) stakeholder engagement in an attempt to sanitize the sector.

The NRCAP had previously established the Impartiality Committee and trained the members to ensure fairness and equity in the Scheme and protect the integrity of the registration process.

The Committee members were drawn from critical sectors of the economy such as the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA)

The session was an interactive one as stakeholders had the opportunity of making their contribution and support to SON in making the Conformity Assessment process successful.

The Director General Mallam Farouk Salim, in his welcome address to the stakeholders, said that the meeting was crucial to the sustenance and continuity of business in all sectors, ensuring that the sector is adequately attended to and the number of quacks totally alienated or brought to the barest minimum.

He stressed that the NRCAP Scheme aims to guarantee the authenticity, traceability, and compliance of goods and services with the appropriate Nigerian Industrial Standards (NIS).

He further stated that the database aims to include all registered Laboratories, Management System Consultants, Training Service Providers, Certification bodies, Inspection bodies, Inspectors, Auditors, and Assessors in Nigeria.

According to Salim, the absence of regulations in the industry has a negative impact on both the industry and the country as a whole.

For example, there is no official register of qualified practitioners to support national planning and coordination of economic activities bordering on standardization and quality assurance, and genuine practitioners are not adequately protected from the negative effects of unhealthful competition by quacks, among other things.

“I urge all those present to heed this National call and give it the attention it deserves by contributing your wealth of experience and expertise in the deliberations, which will, in turn, bring immense benefits to the Nation at large,” the SON boss said.

SON trains lab analysts

The regulator also recently organized a capacity-building program for its laboratory analysts at the SON Laboratory Complex in order to attain professionalism as well as enhance their knowledge and skills about laboratory procedures.

This follows an audit of the lab conducted by Bloom Public Health that accentuated the need to ensure that the laboratory is not just fully furnished but well equipped with Analysts with the necessary skills for effectiveness in their day-to-day activities.

The DG claims that this training, the first of its kind, is created with courses to deal with both theoretical and practical hands-on training on the machines they use every day with various test methods unique to the machine, such as the High Power Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), Glass Chromatography Mass (GCMS), and Spectrophotometer among others that are relevant in most fields of training.

Salim further admonished the recipients to make the most of the opportunity provided to them to learn the skills necessary to propose solutions to their most difficult problems relating to machine learning test methods, while concentrating on the “residual knowledge” that would have the greatest impact on them, in order to give them the ability to conduct laboratory procedures with the greatest effectiveness and efficiency.

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