The Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), said it seized over N22.7 billion substandard products both destroyed and awaiting destruction in the last one year.
Director-General/Chief Executive Standards Organisation of Nigeria, Osita Aboloma, who was represented by Director in DG’s Office, Muhammed Kabir, disclosed this at the 2018 SON/Maritime Stakeholders Awareness Forum with the theme: “Collaboration As A Tool For Zero Substandard Imports,” held in Lagos yesterday, said that some of the products seized included tyres; electric cables; LPG cylinders; lubricants; communication cables; unfortified sugar, among others.
According to him, the Nigerian economy and the lives of trhe citizens are also further endangered due to the influx of substandard goods.
He called for robust collaboration among stakeholders to tackle the menace of substandard products, which put the lives and properties of Nigerians at risk, adding that collaboration was the key to success since SON cannot achieve the goal of zero importation of substandard products alone.
Aboloma said: “I therefore implore you to join us to sensitize and educate all importers and the public on the importance of quality goods and products as well as the dangers associated with substandard and life-endangering products.
“The works of standardisation, quality assurance as well as campaign against the menace of substandard products remains a collaborative and partnership endeavour among SON and its stakeholders. Suffice it to state that over 80 percent of products that enter into Nigeria daily, monthly or yearly are via the nation’s seaports and waterways.”
He said it is therefore critical to collaborate with the Maritime Sector operators in the quest for zero import of substandard and unwholesome products as well as the Federal Government’s Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Policy.
Therefore, he said continuous engagement with sectoral operators and stakeholders would help SON to carry everybody along in the zero tolerance to substandard, fake and counterfeit products campaign.
He Said: “One major way of bringing the players on board the standards and quality voyage is through sensitization and enlightenment.
You may wish to recall that similar forums have been organised by the SON in recent times across the country.
However, the need for continuous and robust engagement of stakeholders in order to ease the challenges involved in standards enforcement and monitoring compliance necessitates the conveyance of today’s programme. The end, they say, justifies the means.”
While recognising the presence of the Association of Nigeria Licenced Customs Agents (ANLCA), the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) and other key stakeholders in the Maritime Sector at the forum, he said stakeholders continuous support and collaboration with SON is most essential in the fight against the importation of substandard products and the attendant dangers to lives and properties, as well as the economy of the country.
He said the critical roles in the Maritime Sector cannot be over emphasized as the link or intermediaries between the importers and the regulatory authorities.
He said SON therefore look forward to a more robust and lasting collaboration that will continuously create the much-desired awareness in the activities and import requirements of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria.