SON Links New Portal to NICIS Services

Yemisi Izuora

up0301213-Joseph-Odumodu
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has stepped up its Information Technology (IT) development to Provide easy access to information on products regulated by the agency.

Speaking at a one day workshop today in Lagos, with theme “TRADE FACILITATION THROUGH AUTOMATION OF SON’s SERVICES” ,Director General of the SON, Ikemefuna Odumodu noted that the integration of SON’s systems and certificates into Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System (NICIS) aims at driving home the organisation’s service delivery capabilities.

Odumodu recalled that when he assumed office, he made concerted efforts to deliver on his mandate as well as improve the economic fortunes of both the State and its citizenry.

He said the agency has not lost sight of its primary task of reducing to the barest minimum the incidence of sub-standard products circulation in the markets.

According to him, We are quite glad to inform you that as at today, the volume of such products has dropped from 80 per cent to 40/35 per cent and courtesy of our “operation flush”, we are determined to bring the percentage down to 10% by the end of the year.

This, however, requires the co-operation and collaboration of all of us because as it is said in the International System, “threat to one is threat to all”, hence, the need for collective security.

All life danger products must be eliminated completely from our shores and environment because they remain unsafe to lives and property even as they are disincentives to investment, employment and economic drive.

On the new initiative, the D-G explained that the SON has developed a trade portal and linked to the NICIS to cover critical areas, including converting all SON Certifications and certificates to electronic format, online transmission of certificate to trade portal/NICIS by consignee for Form ‘M’ and Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) Consignment processing at the comfort of the person’s office, eliminating direct contact by visits to SON office for certification processing.

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The new service is also providing HS Codes regulated by SON and the requirements for regulated products on www.trade.gov.ng/son as well as setting up a Customer/Consumer Helpdesk at Apapa, Lagos and Abuja.

The immense and numerous benefits of the automated system towards concerted efforts at trade facilitation include, Provision of easy access to information on products regulated by SON as consignees can now confirm if a product is regulated by SON through any online platform – Computer, Tablet and handheld devices by visiting www.trade.gov.ng/son).

It also helps in the Implementation of strong document authentication system using different methods and electronic signature for all sensitive electronic documents (e-Product Certificate & e-SONCAP Certificate is transmitted to electronically NICIS through activation on www.trade.gov.ng/son).

Another benefit is instant notification of regulatory status of any product during Form ‘M’ and PAAR Consignment processing, and eliminating the need to apply for paper SON Product Certificate/Import Permits which is later uploaded during Form ‘M’ application.

“Consignee simply needs to put the certificate number of the ‘activated e-Product Certificate’ on the ‘ATTACHMENT’ section of form. Ensures that consignee sources product from reputable source prior to approval of Form ‘M’, he said.

It will also eliminate the need to apply for paper SONCAP Certificate which is later uploaded during PAAR Consignment Processing; consignee simply need to input the certificate number of the ‘activated SONCAP Certificate’ on the ‘ATTACHMENT’ section of form. Allow consignee to submit SONCAP Certificate for assessment and issuance of PAAR prior to arrival of the consignment at the Ports.

The platform further gives the assurance that all documents submitted into NICIS have been reviewed and verified by SON, thus eliminating documentaryfraud. No need for double-checking.

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Another benefit is the protection of Nigerian consumers from substandard products by ensuring that only consignment that has passed through the ‘Mandatory SON Conformity Assessment Programme –SONCAP’ is allowed into the country.

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