By Charles Nwaoguji
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) are set to rekindle the existing collaboration between the two agencies to promote increased local content in the production of electrical materials, personnel and facilitate export of certified made in Nigeria products.
This indication was given during a courtesy visit of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry(NESI)/Nigerian Content Consultative Forum (NCCF) delegation to the SON Operational Headquarters, Lekki, Lagos.
Leader of the delegation, Engr. A.B. Mohammed, General Manager Engineering Performance and Monitoring of the NERC commended SON for its past collaboration which engendered the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two organisations in 2015 as well as SON’s membership of the NESI-NCCF.
Mohammed disclosed that the body of experts from the industry constituted by the NCCF to advice the NERC on carrying out its duties had worked assiduously to compile a publication titled: Regulation on National Content Development for the Power Sector (Schedules to the Regulation), providing the benchmark and threshold for the electricity industry in Nigeria.
In his remarks, Chairman of the NERC/NCCF, Chief Henry Okolo acknowledged the role of SON in warehousing standards for the nation, stressing the need for improved collaboration in the electricity sector to enhance local content as well as promote export of made-in-Nigeria products and personnel.
Okolo stated that the forum is not unmindful of some agents and vendors resisting the total achievement of local content in the industry despite the signing of the presidential executive order No.5 of 2015, as a government policy to that effect.
He urged SON to intensify its technical support to local industries and interested parties through the application of international standards in the electrical sector as a means of sustaining the local industry and building greater capacity.
Okolo advised SON to consider setting up a Nigerian content desk to handle matters directly impacting on standards as relating to local content in the power sector.
Responding on behalf of the Director General, SON, OsitaAboloma Esq. Director in the DG’s Office, Mr. Kabir Yusuf highlighted SON’s core mandate as including development of standards, factory inspections, testing, offshore and local conformity assessment of products, certification of management systems amongst others as means of promoting the ease of doing business initiative of the Federal Government.
He assured the NESI-NCCF delegation of SON’s preparedness to support and enhance the collaboration with NERC in achieving the best for all Nigerians and reiterated the organisation’s determination at all times to confront incidents of substandard and fake products including electrical materials as part of its mandate.
Aboloma welcomed a review of the MOU between the two agencies to strengthen the existing cooperation with a view to promoting greater local content and quality assurance in the sector to continually give value for money of the consumers, ensure repeated patronage, increased capacity utilization and job creation.
He invited members of the NNCCF to visit SON’s state of the art laboratories to have a first-hand assessment of the electrical laboratory with the capability of testing meters and other electrical products and components.
Also contributing Mr. Richard Adewumi, Deputy Director Management System Certification(MSC), highlighted SON’s capabilities as including international accreditation in Quality, Environmental, Food Safety and Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems Standards Certification.
He stated that over 400 organizations have been certified by the organisation and suggested the introduction of Quality Management Systems Certification as prerequisite for companies in the electrical industry in support of improved local content in order to promote excellence and greater customer satisfaction.
Copies of the Regulation on National Content Development for the Power Sector (Schedules to the Regulation) were presented to the DG’s representative by Engr. A.B. Mohammed, GM (EPM, NERC).
Participants at the meeting included representatives from the Federal Ministry of Power, National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Kaduna, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), Abuja, Trade Congress of Nigeria (TCN) and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) as part of the NCCF.
Other members of the SON team were Mrs. Yeside Akinlabi, Deputy Director Laboratory Services; Mr. Richard Adewumi, Deputy Director, MSC; Mr. Isa Suleiman, Head, Surveillance, Intelligence and Monitoring (SIM) Unit and Engr. AyodeleAkinware, Head, Seme Border Post who is the SON representative on the NESI-NCCF/NERC initiative.