The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has revealed that it plans to harmonise the production of various ventilators developed across the country to conform to uniformity in tandem with international standard and achieve the purpose of containing the COVID-19 pandemic.

The SON Director-General, Osita Aboloma urged the various inventors to ensure compliance to ISO 5080601/2/12/3020: Medical Electrical Equipment part 11, for Clinical Care.

According to him, the adherence to standards will easy the processing of conformity assessment and certification of the products.

Aboloma stated that certifying locally produced ventilators, air purifiers and hand sanitiser machines would put the nation in its pride of place in the clime.

He said this at Ilaro Polytechnic School in Ogun State during the unveiling of local ventilators produced by the institution.

He expressed delight in the institution’s innovation in producing local ventilators, air purifiers and hand sanitisers machine amid the Coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world.

“We are partnering with the institute in ensuring that various machines produced in the country met the requited standards so as not to end up in the shelves.

“Standard is a common language all over the world. Once we are able to get the machines to standard, then we are there,” he said

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Aboloma commended all institutions that are producing ventilators adding that they should ensure that the products meet the required standards specifications.

“We are working round the clock to ensure that most of the research works geared toward COVID-19 had standard backing and do not end up on shelves.

According to him, the unification will go a long way in saving Nigeria’s foreign exchange spent on importation of ventilators while also drumming support to the fight against COVID – 19.

He also added that it would increase patronage of the equipment by citizens to improve their wellness.

The SOB, DG who was represented by the Coordinator, Ogun State Office 1, Engr. Jerome Umoru said the organisation would encourage the private sector to invest in such innovations to enable the inventors to go through the next stages of clinical trials and obtaining the Nigerian Industrial Standard (NIS) Mark.

He reiterated SON’s support toward sustaining local production of essential materials to fight the COVID-19 pandemic through quality assurance.

“We diligently assigned officers to inspect the ventilators and alcohol-based hand sanitisers being produced.

“We have one common standard for each product and we want to ensure that what we are producing here meets the standard and once it meets the standard, we will certify it. We will also continue to monitor their activities so that they do not rest on their oars in producing quality goods.

“I have just presented a copy of the Standard to the Rector of the Federal Polytechnic Ilaro, it is the ‘golden rule,” he said.

According to him, once the institute meets the basic parameter requirements, certification of the innovations will be fast-tracked.

“SON is ready to partner with all technical institutions especially those involved in the production of life-saving equipment and materials at this time so that their products will meet minimum requirements of the relevant Nigerian Industrial Standards (NIS) and undergo certification under the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) scheme”.

Aboloma disclosed that “Upon certification, we will from time to time visit the institutional innovators in order to ensure that they continually conform to the requirements of the applicable Standards.

The SON Chief Executive, however, indicated that very soon, Nigerian Consumers would be empowered through a product authentication scheme to determine the quality and conformance of products at the point of purchase, stressing that those without necessary certifications would be rejected.

Responding, the Rector, Federal Polytechnic Ilaro, Arc. Olusegun Aluko, said ventilators cost about N7 million to import, pointing out that possible partnerships with the private sector could help boost the production of ventilators in the country.

“The materials for manufacturing the ventilators are sourced locally, support to the noble innovation will make it more accessible and cheaper compared to imported one’s which are scarce, costly and would take longer to deliver”, he said.

He said with such partnerships, over a 100 ventilators could be produced daily to help combat the COVID- 19 crisis in Nigeria.

“We believe SON is the Apex standard body and the agency working with us makes it easier.

“The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) can have confidence in us and they May indicate their interest and we believe in a partnership that will work for all of us,” he stated.

The Rector explained that the institution has designed a disinfectant cubicle(just like the security screening cubicles at points of entry in banks) that would disinfect anyone passing through it within a space of 20 seconds.

He said the invention was critical at a time when the government was planning to open up the economy.

“We also invented a multiple outlet of hand washing and sanitising machine. This will be useful in supermarkets, schools and other public places that accommodated crowds.

He further showcased a handling room disinfecting machine produced by the institute, saying it could conveniently be used to disinfect classrooms, offices, banking halls among others.

He solicited for more government support on the innovations to fight COVID-19, as well as boost the investors’ confidence.

“We want patronage from different sectors to deploy the machines to the wellbeing of Nigerians” he added.

The Rector thanked the SON management under the leadership of Osita Aboloma for the encouragement, acceptability, prompt response to challenges among others.

He urged President Mohammadu Buhari to support SON to do more and urged other government agencies to emulate the leadership role of the SON.

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