The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), says that only foreign Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) that have complied with set requirements will be allowed to operate in Nigeria.
Mr Osita Aboloma, SON Director-General disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja at its Management Systems Certification (MSC) Clients’ forum.
SON MSC began certification in 1994 in order to ensure quality services. The body was accredited to 17021 2015 standard by NABDC India.
Third party certification services are also provided to organisations that have established, implemented and maintain a management system that conforms to the requirement of the applicable management system standard.
Aboloma, represented by Mr Umaru Kawu, the Director, Legal Services said that SON as the custodian of standards certification in Nigeria, would ensure that there was a level playing ground for CABs operation in Nigeria.
“Only foreign CABs that have demonstrated compliance with the requirements set by the government of Nigeria and International Accreditation Forum (IAF) will be allowed to operate in the country
“SON will ensure that henceforth, no Nigerian company is denied the benefits of your participation in MSC.
“Foreign CABs that is not well resourced and have established presence in Nigeria will not be allowed to practice in the country,’’ he said.
Aboloma thanked its stakeholders for believing in SON MSC ability to deliver management systems certification that met with global recognition.
“We have not taken acceptance of our certification service for granted, hence we have continually updated our processes to meet with current expectations of our assessors,’’ he said.
As a standardisation body involved in conformity assessment, he said it had continued to ensure that its certification process and schemes were in line with the requirement set out by IFA.
He said it had also ensured that its certification process and schemes were in line with the requirement of Conformity Assessment Committee (CASCO) of International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO).
“We have demonstrated this competence by having our certification accr
Edited By: National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCD), India. (NAN)
“We have the largest number of certified, competent and experienced lead auditors by a CAB in Africa.
“Schemes run in transparent and fair manner without prejudice and discrimination of any applicant due to its size, type of business, financial or political background,’’ he said.
The SON director-general gave assurance that its body was a biggest Management System Certification Body in Africa that was well resourced and could deliver quality assured services.
He said that SON was committed to bringing the quality infrastructure to the stakeholders for their businesses to benefit from its implementation at subsidised cost.
Mr Felix Nyado, the Director MSC, SON said the forum
was a feedback mechanism where the information on current development in the field of accreditation, certification and services were passed on to clients.
He said that certification could help clients to improve their service delivery to meet customers’ requirements.
Nyado said that there was a difference between product and system certification.
According to him, system certification is all about arranging your processes in a way that you can deliver on your final outcome.
“The first route is that you will train your staff on management principle because you must align yourself with processes around the clause.
“We informed them that as part of SON’s regulatory requirements, before you practice as an auditor, there will be need for registration.
“We get a feedback from them on how we have been delivering our services to them when we go for audit, certification process and equally check back whether the certification we have done for them is adding value or not.
“The first route to system certification is that you will train your staff on management principle because you must align yourself with processes around the clause.
“Certification is all about checking what you are doing, aligning what you are doing with expertise,’’ he explained.
Mr Joseph Taiwo of Dangote Group, commended SON for its efforts toward developing systems management for companies across the country.
Taiwo said that system management certification helps company’s processes, saying that the certification had added value to their products over the years.
“Our organisation is certified to ISO 90001 2015, which is quality management system, environmental management system ISO 140001 2015 and occupational health and safety management systems which is ISO 450001 2018 among others,’’ he said.
Edited By: Ese E. Ekama (NAN)
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) says the agency is taking constructive steps in ship registry aimed at maintaining Nigera’s influence international trade.
The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside, said this during the Nigerian Ship Registry Interactive Forum with ship owners held on Tuesday in Lagos.
The theme of the forum was : “ Repositioning The Nigerian Ship Registry for Sustainable Growth’’.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that Ship Registry gives a ship a nationality, a flag and an identity.
He said:“This interactive forum with ship owners is to bring to them up-to-date with the ongoing reforms in the Nigerian Ship Registry.
“The present management began the drive to restructure the Nigerian Ship Registry by inaugurating a committee on the review of the activities and operations of the Nigerian Ship Registration Office on Feb. 27, 2018.
“Part of the Terms of Reference given to the committee were to examine the status of the Ship Registry in line with international best standards and recommend requisite improvements, of which a report was submitted in 2019 with far reaching recommendations grouped into short, medium and long term measures.
“Immediately after, the Implementation Monitoring Committee was inaugurated on Aug. 20, 2019 to chart a course for the implementation of the recommendations.
“Our goal as a maritime safety administration is to create a world class Ship Registry which will be attractive to shipowners with the aim of maintaining the influence of Nigeria in evolving international commercial and regulatory environment for shipping”.
According to him, Nigeria currently operates a Closed Registry with about 2,725 active vessels of various capacity.
He added that in 2019, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) ranked the Nigerian Ship Registry number 2 in Africa after Liberia (which operates an Open Registry) and 46 in the world.
Peterside noted that the agency’s desire was to have Nigerian flag vessels involved in international commercial trade and the reason efforts were being made to build capacity and ensure that Nigerians acquire high capacity vessels.
He said that it would ensure the country not only be involved in the lifting of its hydrocarbons but carry its cargos to other parts of the world.
“ Nigeria operates a closed ship registry, however, most renowned ship registries in the world such as the UK Ship Register, today maintain a Second or International Register.
“This is to attract tonnage whilst using the Closed Register to develop indigenous capacity and for domestic trade similar to our cabotage regime.
“Nigeria having a second or international register will help grow the country’s fleet and input our footprints in international commercial trade,” Peterside said.
The NIMASA D-G said that in 2018/19, the agency attracted into its register two high index capacity vessels – “Egina FPSO” and “MT Ultimate”.
He said that there was no doubt that a lot more could be done to assist Nigerians in acquiring vessels and that was why the agency was making efforts to disburse the Cabotage Vessels Finance Fund (CVFF).
He disclosed that the agency was also partnering with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to drive capacity in the industry.
He listed the constructive steps taken by the agency in the Ship Registry to include audit of register of Nigerian vessels, redesign and production of new ship registry certificate and automation of the ship registry.
Others include upgrade of the ship registry filling facility, review of ship registration guideline, and ISO 9001: 2015 certification.
Peterside also urged ship owners to keep their eyes firmly fixed on the objective of building a world class Ship Registry and hoped to rely on their guidance, experience, industry know-how and cooperation to endow the desperately needed credence and international respect for the Nigerian Flag.
He encouraged them to fly and promote the Nigerian Flag.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Ship Registry Committee, Mr Emmanuel Ilori, urged NIMASA to set clear timelines for the administative process of ship registration and put in place clear and precise change in flag instructions.
Ilori, an engineer, also advised the agency to ensure that qualified tonnage measures were employed to serve in the safety department.
He commended the agency’s drive to enshrine full automation of all ship registration processes, revealing that it was one of the recommendations of the Ship Registry Review committee.
Edited By: Vivian Ihechu/Wale Ojetimi
The Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN), has organised a special training toward strengthening the country’s capacity to prevent and respond to diseases outbreak.The Nigeria News Agency , reports that the four-day capacity building training holding in Abuja is being held in collaboration with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).“The training is focused on Laboratory Quality Management Systems for laboratory specialists,” IHVN programme manager Bimpe Balogun told NAN on Thursday.Balogun said that the training would look into the management and technical requirements of ISO 15189:2012 modules, among other areas.“We shall also look into improving the laboratory system to ensure that results are reliable, accurate and reproducible. Hopefully, they can get national or international accreditation and that way, their results will be comparable to any laboratory in the world,” she said.She added that with adequate skills and knowledge, laboratory scientists could avoid wrong diagnosis to prevent disease outbreaks.“With adequate skills, infected clients can be easily identified and quick intervention made to avoid the spread of infection by more people,” she said.NCDC Laboratory Network Advisor, Mrs. Celestina Obiekea, while addressing participants, advised them to “listen and make use of the opportunity so that you can put to practice what you learn”.Participants were drawn from National Reference Laboratory, Gaduwa, Central Public Health Laboratory, Lagos, Maitama District Hospital and University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin.Others came from University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, and Yusuf DanTsoho Specialist Hospital, Kaduna.Mrs. Ogbazi Josephine, Head of Quality Management from Central Public Health Laboratory, Lagos, in a remark, said that the training had improved her understanding of quality management.“If quality management practices are followed, we shall definitely have accurate and timely results for planning so that our people will be safer.”Dr Chukwubike Chinedu from the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, another participant, said that the training was coming at the right time “especially for us, being a new laboratory for yellow fever diagnosis in the country”.“We need to see what others are doing and also to be able to produce quality result that will be integrated into the network,” he said.The training is part of activities of the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), and the RESOLVE to Save Lives (RTSL), an initiative of vital strategic groups working with governments in low and middle income countries to improve capacity and preparedness to help the world prevent epidemics.IHVN is implementing the RESOLVE sub-grant, spearheaded by Principal Investigator and Executive Director, Laboratory Services, Prof. Alash’le Abimiku, to facilitate capacity reinforcement activities that will strengthen and expand existing national and regional laboratory systems and networks.ETS
The Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) in collaboration with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has commenced a four-day training on Laboratory Quality Management Systems for laboratory specialists.
The training, which will feature Management and Technical requirements of ISO 15189:2012 modules, among others, is designed to strengthen the participants to prevent and respond to disease outbreaks across the country.
The training was organised for the Yellow Fever Network of Laboratories across the country as part of activities of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the RESOLVE to Save Lives (RTSL).
RTSL is an initiative of vital strategies working with governments in low and middle income countries to improve capacity and preparedness and help the world prevent epidemics.
Mrs Bimpe Balogun, the IHVN Programme Manager Labouratory, said that the training would improve laboratory system and ensure that results were reliable, accurate and reproducible.
“Hopefully, this training would lead to a national or international accreditation, and the result would be comparable to any laboratory in the world.
“With adequate skills and knowledge, laboratory scientists could avoid wrong diagnosis to prevent disease outbreaks.
“Infected clients can be easily identified and quick intervention made to avoid the spread of infection by more people.”
Mrs Celestina Obiekea, the NCDC Laboratory Network Adviser, enjoined participants to take the advantage of the opportunity to practice whatever they have learnt afterwards.
For Mrs Josephine Ogbazi, the Head of Quality Management from Central Public Health Laboratory, Lagos, the training would improve the understanding of quality management.
She said that the quality management practices would be followed, and they would be accurate and timely for planning, so that Nigerians can be safe.
Dr Chukwubike Chinedu from the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, another participant, described the training as timely, adding that it will be particularly useful to his institution’s new laboratory for yellow fever diagnosis.
He said that they need to see what others were doing to be able to produce quality result that would be integrated into the network.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that participants were drawn from the National Reference Laboratory, Gaduwa, and Central Public Health Laboratory, Lagos.
Others are from Maitama District Hospital, Abuja; University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin; University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu; and Yusuf Dan Tsoho Specialist Hospital, Kaduna.
IHVN is implementing the RESOLVE sub-grant, spearheaded by Principal Investigator and Executive Director Laboratory Services, Prof. Alash’le Abimiku.
Its aim is to facilitate capacity reinforcement activities that will strengthen and expand existing national and regional laboratory systems and networks.
Edited By: Celine-Damilola Oyewole/Muhammad Suleiman Tola
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency on Thursday in Abuja, said that it would release 2020 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) on Jan 21.NiMet’s Director General, Prof. Sani Mashi, made this known at the media briefing on the forthcoming 2020 seasonal rainfall prediction.According to him, the 2020 rainfall prediction will highlight vital information that may affect socio-economic activities in the air, land and water transportation, agriculture, water resources, disaster management and mitigation.Others, he said, are tourism, sports, health, building and construction, energy sectors among others in the course of the year.“In order to help policy makers and farmers plan ahead, we wish to announce that this year`s Seasonal Rainfall Prediction will be unveiled to general public on Tuesday, Jan.21, 2020 at the NAF Conference Centre, Abuja.“Forecast information that have been provided include; the onset and cessation dates of the 2020 rainy season; the downscaled total amount of rainfall expected in all the 774 Local Government Areas of the country.“Temperature forecast as well as malaria and meningitis forecast. The socio-economic implications of the expected rainfall and temperature patterns for major sectors of the economy will also be discussed during the event, “ he said.Mashi said NiMet had witnessed increase from 54 to over 157 meteorological stations within three years and had acquired ISO 9001:2015 for Aeronautical Meteorological Services (AMS) delivery as first meteorological organisation in Africa to achieve the feat.The director general said the agency also acquired ISO 29990:2010 for training services at the Regional Training Centre, Lagos, to be the first again in Africa.“On this, NiMet`s meteorological institution is the only institution in Africa and one of the seven in the world to have achieved this ISO Certification.“In addition to the WMO RTC NIMet is operating, we have also established a new National Meteorological Training Institute in Katsina, where we shall be training Nigerians in Meteorology at OND and HND levels.“National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) has already granted provisional approval for commencement of the programme.“Our first batch of students shall resume in September 2020. The institute is the only one in Africa, but second in the world beside the South American Training Institute in Ecuador,“ he said.Mashi commended efforts of the stakeholders involved in achieving new and improved condition of service for the agency.Edited by: Modupe Adeloye/Felix Ajide
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) on Friday said the Final Billing System (FBS) would ensure immediate closure of all vessel’s transactions within two weeks.
The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside, made this known during a media briefing on the achievements and upcoming Annual Dinner and Awards Night of the agency in Lagos.
According to him, NIMASA is a regulatory and enforcement agency and not an operations agency and as such ensures that vessels that come into the country operates under good standards.
“Before now, operators in the industry who come into the country with their vessels stay long on their transactions and incurred charges but the introduction of the system brought about changes.
“The final billing system, an automated system introduced by the agency aided them in the issue of sailing clearance, and helps improve dwell time and turnaround time in the port.
“It ensures immediate closure of all vessels transactions within a period of two weeks and puts an end to double billing and over billing,” he said.
Peterside pointed that the agency improved on maritime domain awareness used in tracking every vessel heading or leaving the country’s territorial waters.
He added that with the domain, a five-year profile would be done to identify and monitor vessels of special interest, illegal activities and help to minimise their effects on the country.
He noted that the business meetings between Nigerian shipping companies and other countries created a lot of opportunities for local businesses to meet their international counterparts.
The director-general said that as regards the Cabotage Waiver Situation Plan, some category of vessels would not be allowed to be imported into the country, saying that it would give room to building ships in-house.
He said the agency would be partnering with the Nigerian Content Development Board to that effect, urging shipowners to build capacity and take the opportunity.
He pointed out that there would be more enforcement of the cabotage regime, saying that the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund when implemented would support local people in coastal trade.
Peterside said that as regards security, there was a drop in the number of accidents on the waterways, saying that an automated maritime safety number existed for people to reach, of which search and rescue marshalls would be reached.
He said that without safety and security, one would not benefit from the coastal water and so the C4I system (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, & Intelligence) which was pre-emptive and reactive ensured the eye view of the countries coastal water.
He said that in the management of pollution of the waterways, the agency had met all international convention requirements and would be able to acquire the International Maritime Organisation’s Standard Operating Procedures for claims in pollution management.
The director-general said NIMASA had also developed a software to help track the carriage of dangerous goods that would be detrimental to the country.
Peterside said that a bigger achievement of the Nigerian Ship Registration Office which undergone a comprehensive reform saw its certificate now with six security features.
“Reputation matters a lot; so it should not be a subject of whether the certificate is authentic or not and all its processes are automated.
“It is ISO certified and it is a ship registry that can compete with a Singapore flag,” he said.
He pointed out that as a form of employment generation, the agency had employed 7,414 persons in 2019 as against 4,235 in 2018.
Peterside added that on Jan. 18, the agency would be appreciating staff who were outstanding, who had put in long service; stakeholders and Nigerians that were doing great things in the maritime industry.
Edited by: Chioma Ugboma/Adeleye Ajayi
Stakeholders advocate establishment of Cassava Development Council
Ibadan, July 29, 2019 Stakeholders in the agricultural sector have advocated for the establishment of Cassava Development Council (CDC) to harness the potential of the cassava sub sector in the country.
They urged that the CDC be anchored by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The stakeholders made the call in a communiqué issued and made available to Nigeria News Agency on Monday after recent a 2019 Cassava Investment Forum in Ibadan.
NAN reports that the communiqué was signed by Dr Adebayo Abass, the Technologies for African Agriculture Transformation (TAAT) Cassava Compact Leader and Prof. Lateef Sanni, the President, International Society for Tropical Root Crops (ISTRC).
The stakeholders said the CDC should be the hub of information on cassava sub sector and have similar mandate like that of the Sugar Development Council of Nigeria.
On Nigerian industrial standards, they agreed that the total aerobic count in the standard for edible cassava flour should be adjusted to 100,000 units per gram rather than 10,000 units per gram.
They emphasised the importance of having a policy for cassava while recommending the forum to work with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to draft a policy for the cassava sector.
The stakeholders also called on government and the private sector to support the training of farmers using both traditional and digital extension methods for capacity building on good agricultural practices to attain yield of 20 tonnes per hectare.
“The business connector of linking farmers to processors was commended and it was agreed that the app should be promoted by TAAT cassava compact.
“The intervention of CBN in the cassava sub-sector was appreciated, the TAAT cassava compact proposed a meeting with BOI and cassava champion group of CBN.
“To address the issues of rejection of cassava products by off-takers, processors must ensure that they do their analysis through ISO certified laboratories.
“To sustain the momentum of private sector participation in the cassava sector, participants agreed that the Cassava Investment Forum should be held annually driven by the private sector with government’s support,” it said.
According to them, to ensure that processors get the right equipment and the cassava compact offered by TAAT to partner, the Bank of Industry should backstop them in the area of procurement of efficient equipment for borrowers from the bank.
They also acknowledged the role of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, as the coordination institution for the cassava compact of TAAT.
The stakeholders further commended the African Development Bank for providing funds for the organisation of the cassava investment forum and its role in supporting African agricultural programmes.
Edited By: Abigael Joshua/Grace Yussuf
The Central laboratory of the Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO) has been certified by the International Standards Oragnisation (ISO) to analyse and certify food and non-food products for export.
Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, the Minister of Science and Technology disclosed on Thursday in Lafia, Nasarawa during the 16th meeting of the National Council on Science and Technology.
Onu said that the certification would curb the challenges of Nigerian products being rejected at the international market.
“This implies that any of those products certified by FIIRO, will no longer require further analysis outside the country. Our exported products will no longer be rejected.
“This is an important step that will help us to start exporting processed raw materials with value addition thereby generating revenue for the country,” Onu said.
He added that the development would help in job creation, poverty reduction, improve quality of life of Nigerians.
“It is relevant to note that this giant stride will further help to redirect Nigeria’s economy from commodity dependent to a knowledge and innovation driven one with attendant benefits of ensuring high quality of products and services of the micro, small, medium and large scale enterprises, while maintaining global competitiveness,” he said.
Onu said that the theme of the meeting “Enhancing Nigeria’s competitiveness in all sectors of the economy through effective development of Science, Technology and Innovation” was apt in view of the role Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) play in the industralisation and economic development of a nation.
“It is a well chosen theme reflecting on our nation’s current challenges in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030, the realisation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017 to 2020, as well as utilising the cross -cutting nature of STI as engine of socio-economic advancement of any nation,” Onu said.
He noted that there had been a remarkable improvement in the level of innovation in the country between 2015 and 2017, where about 50 research findings were patented through the assistance of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP).
Onu said this was an indication of the appreciation of the role of STI in nation building.
He said that between January and February, 20 patents were processed through NOTAP, saying, ” this is a clear evidence that Nigeria is on the March towards a new dawn, where research and innovation will be used to stimulate growth in the economy and promote competitiveness in the global arena.”
Edited by: Grace Yussuf
The Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) on Tuesday said that the non-acceptability of indigenous software internationally was due to lack of Capabilities Maturity Model Integration (CMMI).
NAN reports that CMMI is a process and behavioural model that helps organisations streamline process improvement and encourage productive, efficient behaviour that decrease risks in software, products and services development.
Okeremi said that there were only three companies in Nigeria that had the CMMI certification because it was an expensive project that needed government intervention.
According to him, it needs a lot of government intervention and encouragement to have a CMMI certification.
“Though my company – Precise Financial System (PFS), did not need government’s encouragement to do the certification.
“Because ordinary companies will not be able to afford it, if the government gets the CMMI for the country for software development, it will be a boost to our economy.
“We should wake up and let`s have about 30 or 40 companies with CMMI certification. It will boost the economy, bring about empowerment and makes us go international.
“Our indigenous software not going international is our own undoing. If you do not give us the opportunity, how can we be world class when we have not been practicing,’’ Okeremi said.
“CMMI is the kind of certification that you brandish anywhere in the world and you have automatic respect because it is much more relevant to software companies in the world.
“India for example has the CMMI certification because the government encouraged them to do it,’’ Okeremi said.
According to him, it is not difficult if we just start from where we are and take a decision that we want to begin from now to consume what we produce.
Okeremi said that an encouragement from government would bring about ease of doing business, especially the small and medium scale companies.
Edited by: Adeleye Ajayi
By Gabriel Agbeja
Abuja, Aug. 9, 2018 The Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO) on Thursday in Abuja received 17025:2005 to update its standard.
17025:2005 specifies the general requirements for competence to carry out tests and/or calibrations, including sampling.
It covers testing and calibration performed using standard methods, non-standard methods, and laboratory-developed methods.
It is applicable to all organisations performing tests and/or calibrations such as
first-, second- and third-party laboratories, and laboratories where testing and/or calibration forms part of inspection and product certification.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, who received the certificate on behalf of the institute from the Nigerian National Accreditation Services (NiNAS), maintained that FIIRO had been conducting research according to international standards.
The certification is for Production, Analytical and Lab Management (PALM).
According to Onu, Nigerians will soon begin to see the positive effects of the certification on national economy through direct and multiplier effect.
He added that “it means that all along, FIIRO had been conducting research according to international standards. This shows that we are indeed making great progress.
“Attaining 17025:2005 is an important state needed for FIIRO to become leading research institute, not just in Nigeria but also in the world.
“This certification will enable FIIRO to analyse food and non-food products and certify them suitable for export, hence such products will no longer require any other analysis outside the country.
“It also means that research conducted in FIIRO labs can be easily published in international journals. This will greatly assist our export market with potential to create more jobs, additional wealth to defeat extreme poverty.”
The FIIRO Director-General, Prof. Gloria Elemo, explained that the institute was accredited with 10
parameters, covering critical areas in food and non-food especially charcoal where FIIRO had developed some expertise over the years.
“Another eight parameters will be considered for accreditation, under this extension of the scope by October.”
Elemo added that the road to attain the ISO 17025:2005 certification had been long and challenging, noting, however, that it was a journey of great learning, expertise, discipline and excellence.
Edited by: Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu