The mandate of the Organisation includes preparation of Standards relating to products, measurements, materials, processes and services amongst others and their promotion at National, Regional and International levels; certification of products, assistance in the production of quality goods and services; improvement of measurement accuracies and circulation of information relating to standards.

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The standard Operating procedure (SOP) is otherwise referred to as a set of step-by-step instructions compiled by an organization to help workers carry out routine operations. Its adoption will help in achieving efficiency, quality output, clear-cut uniform performance while reducing miscommunication and failure to comply with industry regulations.

Consequently, SOPs adoption/enforcement should be digitized and codified in such a manner that enforcement will involve minimal human intervention. The intervention would involve CCTV Capture technology, RFID(Radio-frequency identification) scanners, check-in and check-out movement monitors and digital activity log books similar to those that operate in factories.

On the other hand, the blue or marine economy is the ecosystem of economic activities centred on trade and actions around large bodies of water ranging from rivers to oceans, which are managed in a way as to ensure environmental sustainability.

The economy extends beyond ports and terminals to fishing, waste management, hospitality (beachside hotels and bars), Power generation(offshore wind and tidal energy) and transportation (ships, barges, rigs and other floating vessels).

According to the definition by the World Bank, the Blue Economy Project is the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, while preserving the health of the Ocean ecosystem.

Furthermore, European Union defined Blue economy as all economic activities related to Ocean, Seas and Coasts. Thus the Ocean is important in the address of human needs such as food, water, energy, Medicine and Coastal real estates.

The Blue Economy is categorized into the following segments:
1. Maritime Transportation
2. Fisheries
3. Alternative Wind and Coastal Wave Power Sources (Renewable energy).
4. Tourism
5. Climate change
6. Waste Management

The Blue Economy has the potential to create both economic growth and development. The added African wealth that can be generated from the ocean is conservatively valued at
US$ 4 trillion, with estimated goods and services of $2.5 trillion annually.

Nevertheless, Africa has a long way to go in properly harnessing the economic power of its marine and maritime economy as this shows up in the relative inefficiency in its port activities which tends to show slow throughput processing times leading to long cargo turnover periods and lower potential incomes that would result from faster port processing.

Nigeria’s Blue Economy has been pounded by what analysts describe as PESTEL. The problem facing a sustainable Blue Economy in Nigeria centered on six key strategic difficulties that relate to the following:

Political Will: The lack of broad political consensus on the nature of Nigeria’s fiscal federalism has deep economic implications, including making the blue economy a fragile project. If we must operate optimally and make the project work, every port must be made functional (Calabar, Port Harcourt, Warri, Lagos etc)

Economy: A blue economy would require a competitive and efficient use of coastline resources. Nigerian ports and maritime facilities are currently costlier to operate and manage than ports in neighbouring countries such as Cotonu port in Benin Republic Lome Port in Togo or Tema Port in Ghana.

The relative high cost of Nigerian ports reduces port patronages, efficiencies, operations and related activities; this, in turn, reduces potential employment, optimal utilization of ports, competitiveness and decreased tax revenues.

This port inefficiencies become more imperative, especially now that Nigeria has become a signatory to “The African Continental Free trade Area deal’’, our operations must be carried out in a less expensive and more efficient administrative environment.

SOCIAL – High incidence of piracy, smuggling, human trafficking and drug peddling makes Nigeria’s maritime business a precarious entrepreneurial activity. The high presence or influence of wharf gangs has created a marine ‘inverse’ ecosystem that is socially precarious.

Technology: Technology adoption is a critical aspect of the evolving blue economy, from stevedoring to cargo handling and inspections, the use of machines has become a compelling necessity to remove the obvious delays and bottlenecks that occurs with multi-point human interface in shipping operations.

Through the digitization of standard operating procedures (SOPs) and use of electronic monitoring and inspection technology has gone a long way in improving port turnaround time and scaled-down the levels of delays that result from high levels of human discretion, we can improve on the present scale.

Environment: The port environment in Nigeria is poor and nurtures a culture of weak morals and perverse hygiene. Port infrastructures are old and badly maintained while marine shorelines are highly polluted from industrial effluence and waste products, habitually thrown into the dock waters by port users and refuse disposal vendors. The pollution of the ports marine water creates challenges for environmental sustainability.

The laws and procedures guiding maritime services in Nigeria are comprehensive and fairly robust, the problem seems to stems from procedural enforcement than with the written regulation.


Maritime Transportation: Standards Organisation of Nigeria(SON) has a Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP) for the certification of products and services offshore(outside Nigeria).

Here the products from the country of supply are inspected by SON ‘s International Accreditation Firm ( IAF) for fitness to use. Samples are collected and tested in SON approved laboratory.

If inspection and results meet the relevant Standards requirements, a Certificate of Conformity is issued by IAF and later such product are SON issued Product Certificate for the consignment to enable the importer get his Form M from any of the Nigerian banks.

During the departure of the goods to Nigeria, the products are retested and if they comply with the relevant requirements, SONCAP Certificate is issued for clearance at the Customs territory.

For locally manufactured products for either local consumption and if to be exported, the product shall be subjected to Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP).

Here, SON Officials undertake Factory inspection visit to the factory and carry out Standardisation and Quality Assurance activities starting from raw materials to the finished products.

On-the-spot -test is carried on the products, while samples are drawn for a corroborative test in SON or SON approved Laboratory. If the requirements are met, MANCAP Certificate, which is revalidated after three years is issued on that product. With this Standard procedure, the product can be sold in both locally and the ECOWAS sub-region.

Product- type Certification; Here SON Officials undertake Factory Inspection visit to the Company that wants to export its products. The facilities and the Consignment are inspected. The products are sampled and tested in line with the relevant Standard requirements of the Country of export(demand).

If all the requirements are met, a Certificate of Conformity is issued on that Consignment only. Thus all these Standard procedures help to check the influx of fake, counterfeited and substandard products, which may come through the Blue Economy project.

2. FISHERIES; SON has also developed Standard for fishery business in Nigeria from which Standard procedure was lifted. The Standard discusses the type of fish feed to be given to fish, Management of effluents to preserve aquatic life and increase the Country’s Gross Domestic Product ( GDP) among others. NIS ARS 02: 2018 Fisheries. Sustainable & Eco Labeling Requirements, NIS 1122:2020 Standards for fish feed concentrate, 1123: 2020 Standard for fish feed Premix.

3. Alternative Wind & Coastal Wave Power Sources(Renewable energy); SON has also adopted Standards for Renewable energy. Strict adherence to the procedures will help to control the amount of heat generated thus protecting the depletion of the Ozone Layer and its attendant heat. Among others, NIS IEC TS 62257-3: 2020 Recommendation for renewable Energy and Hybrid System for Rural Electrification.

4. Tourism; SON have developed Standard for Hotel and Serviced Accommodation, which prescribes Standard requirements for hotels and serviced accommodation as well as comfort and security to guests. NIS ISO 18513 2018 (Tourism Services – Hotels and other types of tourism accommodation).

5. Climate Change (Carbon sink); SON has Standard, which consists of Standard procedures that regulate products that emit dangerous gases into the atmosphere example air conditioners, generators, Solid Biomass Clean Cookstoves etc. Through this Standards implementation, depletion of Ozone Layer is reduced, which causes serious Climatic Change is reduced. NIS 1000-1: 2018 (Solid Biomass Clean Cookstove standard)

6. Waste Management; Furthermore, SON has Standard procedure in the Management of waste and effluents that can cause air, water and land pollution. This Standard helps to protect terrestrial animals and aquatic life from death and extinction. NIS 581: 2008 Environment.

National Procedure for Environmental Mgt System, NIS ISO 14001:2018 – Environmental Mgt System, Specification with guidance for Use.


In conclusion, Nigeria’s Blue Economy Project could help the country continue to diversify the economy and generate far larger revenues than it currently exists, and the call for the use of Standard Operating Procedures for the effective implementation of the Blue Economy project through Standardization cant not be more timely.

Standards Organisation of Nigeria(SON) has the human, technical, procedural capacity for immediate deployment when called upon, hence SON should be seen as being central to achieving the aims and objectives of the Blue Economy Project.

Also, SON is not relenting in the fight against substandard, adulterated and fake products whether imported or locally made in the Country.