Experts task Nigeria, others on global standards

Internet-CopyDISCUSSANTS at the 2015 World Standards Day Conference, organised by IT GRC Consulting firm, Digital Jewels, have emphasised the need to set up standards which would serve as tools to facilitate communication, measurement, commerce and manufacturing.

The commemorative event with this year’s theme modified as, Standards, becoming Africa’s Common Language attracted a rich variety of players from different sectors of the economy, including Business Development Manager (Assurance) of the British Standard Institute, Vladimir Cherny; Executive Director of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Ade Bajomo; Managing Director of MainOne, Funke Opeke; Managing Director of Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc, Ade Shonubi and Managing Director of Jaiz Bank, Mallam Nurul Islam, among others.

In her welcome address, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer Digital Jewels Limited, Adedoyin Odunfa, maintained that standards provided reliable benchmark against which performance could be judged, enabling business to objectively demonstrate performance, help to expand national, regional and international markets, reduce costs and time to market for products and services, and achieve competitive advantage.

In assessing the impact of Standards on ICT and e-payment value chain, Opeke said Standards established a minimum expectation for everybody in all facet of life from the most obvious (technology) to the less obvious (operational).

Standards, she explained, represent that we all have a common handshake, a shared meaning and it allows those across jurisdictions to know what to expect and therefore provide services and have deeper focus on customer satisfaction and effective service delivery. “In IT where data is shared, there are lots of emphasis on ISO standards around technology and data protection,” Opeke further said.

On his part, Cherny described Standards as the distilled wisdom of people with expertise in their subject areas and who know the needs of the organisations they represent.

He also highlighted the most popular Standards, including Quality MS (ISO 9001: 2015) which helps work more efficiently and reduces product failures; Environment (ISO 14001: 2015) to help reduce environmental impacts, reduce waste and be more sustainable; Health and Safety (OHSAS 18001:2007) to help reduce accidents in the workplace; Information Security (ISO 27001:2013) to help keep sensitive information secure; Food Safety (ISO 22000:2005) to help prevent food from being contaminated; Energy (ISO 50001:2011) to help cut energy consumption; Information Technology Service (ISO 20000-1:2011 to help improve service provided by your internal IT department and Business Continuity (ISO 22301:2012) to help maintaining business operation.

From a regulatory viewpoint, Bajomo said that the NSE last August launched the Premium Board, which is the listing segment for the elite group of issuers that meet the Exchange’s most stringent corporate governance and listing standards. He said the Premium Board features companies that adhere to international best practices on corporate governance and meet the Exchange highest standards of capitalisation and liquidity.”

For Director Banking and Payment Systems at the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dipo Fatokun, Standards would make the payment system safe, secure and convenient to run and at a minimum cost, if properly implemented.

Fatokun, who was represented by Samson Olusola Agboola, an Assistant Director with the CBN, said he hoped for a situation whereby all the isolated automation would be integrated to deliver what would be useful to customers.

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