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SON issues 29 free international standards on essential products

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The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) is supporting the manufacturing and importation of essential materials to combat the challenges of COVID-19 through the deployment of 28 relevant international Standards from the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and one from the African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO) on alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

According to a statement from the office of the Director-General, SON, Osita Aboloma, the deployment of the Standards is to meet emergency needs occasioned by COVID-19 globally while the process for the adoption would continue unhindered in spite of the lockdown.

The Standards, which were provided at no cost to local manufacturers, are being made available to the National Committee on Sustainable Production and Delivery of Essential Commodities during the COVID-19 Pandemic of which SON is a member. This is to guide local manufacturers as well as provide a benchmark for adjudging all imported products in the category during the pandemic.

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The statement disclosed that SON has received free, unlimited usage of the ISO web conferencing system (Zoom) for national standards development work only.

“With this offer, Nigeria as an eligible member will be assigned a Zoom account for developing countries, which we can share with our Technical Committee (TC) members and experts, creating the equivalent of a “virtual conference room” at the national level, the statement clarified.

Aboloma said further that with this, Nigeria’s TC meetings could continue largely, while its stakeholders and experts keep safe in this time of bans on gatherings and travels.

The SON Chief Executive called on TC members across the nation to expect invitations from the Secretariat for participation in the consideration and adoption of several international Standards from ISO resources, to support global efforts in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.

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He listed some of the international standards compiled by ISO to support global efforts in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis to include, ISO 374-5:2016 Protective gloves against dangerous chemicals and micro-organisms – Part 5: Terminology and performance requirements for micro-organisms risk; ISO 10651-3:1997 Lung ventilators for medical use – Part 3: Particular requirements for emergency and transport ventilators; and ISO 10651-5:2006 Lung ventilators for medical use – Particular requirements for basic safety and essential performance – Part 5: Gas-powered emergency resuscitators.

The SON Chief Executive stated that the TC would also consider the adoption of a French National Standard “AFNOR SPEC S76-001 Barrier Masks – Guide to minimum requirements, methods of testing, making and use” to provide necessary quality guidance for mass production of face masks in the country especially by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

Aboloma commended the past efforts of all members of various National Technical and Mirror Committees in ensuring development, adoption, adaption and review of market-driven Standards for use in Nigeria.

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