The management of NiNAS is glad to announce that we have issued our first accreditation certificates in the field of management system certification to ISO/IEC 17021:2015 and Inspection body certification to ISO 17020:2012 respectively. The most exciting part of this news is that these Accredited Companies are fully 100% Nigerian Companies, leading the way for the private sector desired role in conformity assessment services in the Nigerian economy.
The Nigeria National Accreditation System (NiNAS) began work on the accreditation of certification bodies for management systems under the standard ISO/IEC 17021:2015 and inspection bodies under the standard ISO 17020:2012 respectively, since 2019. This journey began with a stakeholders meeting held in Port Harcourt in late 2019 to discuss with the industry players in Certification and Inspection on their needs, the market demand and the feasibility for these standards. There was an overwhelming demand for ISO/IEC 17021-1 and associated supplementary accreditation standards as well as ISO/IEC 17020:2012, competence requirements for inspection bodies.
With the stakeholders’ approval and expectation, we began work on our documents and management system to ensure proper accommodation of this new standard. We opened up to receive applications in mid-2020.
I signed the first Certificate of Accreditation on ISO/IEC 17020:2012 awarded to INSPECTION AND TESTS NIGERIA LIMITED based in Port Harcourt. We have also awarded Certificate of Accreditation to ISO/IEC 17021:2015 to SYSTEMS CERTIFICATION LIMITED, also based in Port Harcourt as our first accreditation Certificate for a Certification Body for Management System for ISO/IEC 17021-3 (Quality management system – ISO 9001), Occupational Health and Safety management system, ISO 45001:2018 (OHSMS) and to Environmental Management System, ISO 14001:2015 (EMS).
NiNAS is responding to the market needs as well as the Government policy directions and economic priorities. Recently the approval of the National Quality Policy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria requires all Conformity Assessment Bodies operating in Nigeria to get accredited to the relevant scope of their services before the end of 2025 . It is therefore important that NiNAS be ready to provide the accreditation service as required.
With these milestone, NiNAS has now accredited CABs under the following standards: ISO/IEC 17025, ISO/IEC 17021, ISO/IEC 17020, and ISO 15189. We are looking forward to accrediting again our first Certification Body for Persons. We have assessed a few institutions currently working hard to clear the non-conformities identified during the assessments. Our focus now is the completion of our preparations to begin our peer evaluation by the African Accreditation Cooperation (AFRAC). Achievement of mutual recognition arrangement MRA and Multilateral Recognition Arrangement, MLA is vital to Nigeria’s competiveness in the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and the Global Market. NiNAS is committed to playing her part in this process.
This constant growth and expansion of NiNAS accreditation is made possible by the sacrifices of my team who are working under difficult conditions, yet remain committed to quality services to NiNAS. This is also an opportunity to thank our technical partners, World Bank Group for their investment of funds and technical expertise in NiNAS. We are appreciative of the efforts of the Federal Government of Nigeria in improving Nigeria’s quality infrastructure as evidenced by the approval of the National Quality Policy (NQP) by the Federal Executive Council FEC). We are looking forward to the constitution of the National Quality Council (NQC) and the commencement of the implementation of this very important National Policy.