Body urges agencies at ports to operate on single platform

A lot of other government agencies are still coming on board and all these things are being coordinated by Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme and the Project Implementation team involving all government agencies.

SON reduces importation of substandard products by 35%, says D-G

Mr Isa Suleiman, the Deputy Director, Ports Operations, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), has urged Federal Government agencies working at the nation's ports to operate on a single platform in order speed-up trade between Nigeria and other countries.

Suleiman made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Thursday.

According to him, when that is done, transactions will be cheaper while a lot of time-consuming processes will be cut short.

"I want you to be aware that SONCAP (Standard Organisation of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Programme) is a Federal Government project and it involves other government agencies also.

"We can only facilitate trade whereby all relevant government agencies come on a single platform to operate.

"And when you do that, then that means time for processes will be cut short and then transactions or business will become cheaper.

"Actually, we are still on that.

"A lot of other government agencies are still coming on board and all these things are being coordinated by Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme and the Project Implementation team involving all government agencies.

"So, these things are ongoing and as soon as we are through, we are going to see the benefits.”

Suleiman SONCAP was introduced in 2005 by the Federal Government to prevent unsafe products from entering the country.

He said that though SONCAP was experiencing initial challenges, the organization would address them.

"I know that there are some challenges, but I would assure that on SONCAP, the few challenges that are seen are not for the normal processing of SONCAP.

"Those, who are going for the normal processing of SONCAP - that is, before import, you have the product certificate which is transmitted electronically.

"Then, before processing of PAAR (Pre-Arrival Assessment Report) you have the electronic SONCAP certificate. Those, who go for that process, do not have any problem.

"The problem is for those, who had shipped in their consignments and they do not have certificate; those are the problems we are now trying to solve with them."

He said SON had been educating stakeholders in the maritime industry, mostly clearing agents and freight forwarders, on how to process the SONCAP certificate.

The deputy director stressed the need for human contact in operating SONCAP, saying that it would be easier if stakeholders embraced the new trend.

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