By Okezie Nnadi
The Nigerian government has vowed to deal decisively with both foreign and local merchants of life threatening products in the country, in order to stop their quest of making Nigeria a dumping ground for such goods
FG has threatened to deal decisively with such fraudsters, who produce and distribute substandard goods in the country to desist from their nefarious acts, or face arrest and prosecution, as the expanded Act of 2015 gives Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), the powers to arrest, confiscate such goods and prosecute offenders for violating the laws relating to standard of goods and services in the country.
Speaking at the official commissioning of SON’s office complex and laboratory in Ekiti State over the weekend, the Minister of industry, trade and investment,
Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, disclosed that FG is now more determined to fight the peddlers of fake goods to standstill, using modern technologies, world class infrastructure and laboratories.
He disclosed that before now, FG was pained that hundreds of thousands of Nigerian lives have been cut short as a result of substandard and life threatening products peddled around the country.
Such products the minister listed, include poor steel and roofing sheets, adulterated lubricants, explosion from continuous usage of old and expired Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders, fire hazards from substandard electrical cables and retreaded vehicular tyres.
“SON has recorded significant achievements in prosecuting offenders in the past years, more arrests and prosecution are on the way, especially for foreign nationals and their Nigerian collaborators, who try to turn Nigeria into a dumping ground for substandard products.
“With such situation as expressed above, the commissioning of SON building could not have come at a better time than now, as this will not only expand the activities of the organisation from the state capital to all Local Government Areas (LGAs), it will also reduce the cost and turnaround time for investments, as against transporting product samples to SON laboratory facilities in Lagos and Enugu”,Adebayo stressed.
He further stated that the construction and the equipping of the Ekiti edifice has in fact become a priority, as the nation gradually and systematically march towards independence and self reliance from oil to none oil exports for economic growth and development. He emphasised that no serious investor will engage in manufacturing of any product without checking for regulatory compliance to standards.
He expressed FG’s appreciation to the efforts of Mallam Farouk Salim the Director-General/CEO of SON, whohas worked tirelessly to see to the timely completion of the office complex and laboratory in Ekiti State. He commended the organisation for its initiative in signing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with state governments on the development of and growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.
He urged SON to ensure diligent implementation of the terms of agreement.
In his welcome address at the occasion, the DG of SON, Mallam Farouk, stated that the commissioning of the Ekiti permanent office and laboratory is in line with the agency’s new found vigor in fighting fake and substandard products in the country.
Farouk expressed his delight over the official commissioning of the Office and Laboratory. Complex in the state, promising that SON is now more determined than ever to fight the menace.
In few weeks, I took over the mantle of leadership at SON. I was confronted with a high level of infrastructural deficit, which limited the organisation’s operations. I also met on-going office building projects around the country, which had been embarked upon by the organisation to address the situation. He posited
According to Farouk, SON is currently on the path of closing infrastructural gaps identified with the wholesale completion of offices and /laboratory projects, arguing that the commissioning of such facilities is in line with the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) plan.