SON partners maritime stakeholders on self-regulation
The Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) is to strengthen its partnership with stakeholders in the maritime sector as part of measures to tackle influx of substandard products into the country.
According to the Director-General of SON, Dr Paul Angya, the resolve is designed to encourage associations and groups in the sector to self-regulate.
Speaking during an interactive session with Journalists, Angya said the partnership is already producing positive result, noting that the nation will soon begin to feel the impact.
Angya urged importers to desist from false declaration and concealment in the interest of the health of Nigerians and the larger economy.
He challenged stakeholders to imbibe laid down rules and regulations guiding the import and export of quality products.
The SON boss identified standard as key component of trade, adding that the agency has intensified capacity building for its personnel and other critical stakeholders.
Explaining further, Angya said: “Seaport is the biggest point of entry for products. We are working round the clock to curtail influx of substandard products. The way forward for standard is education such as Standard clubs in schools”.
He also spoke on developing curriculum in collaboration with the National University Commission (NUC).
Emphasising that the agency was winning the war against substandard products, Angya said the agency would hold a meeting with major dealers of telephone handset as part of measures to encourage them to self-regulate.
Making reference to influx of substandard tyres, the SON boss advised Nigerians to give priority to their safety and that of their families and invest in new tyres.
He advised Nigerians to look out for expiring dates before parting with money, pointing out “some tyres have expired but might look new. Look closely for the expiring date.”
Angya, who spoke on sundry issues said: “Quality is an inherent human value even for those that have not heard of the SON they have inherent desire for quality. Those who know of the organisation would not reject an institution that is committed to ensure quality for them. I know Nigerians appreciate and accept quality, so I believe our mandate resonates with Nigerians”.
He added: “we have challenges of education level and technical know-how. SON is not in control of the seaport in Nigeria and some of the importers bring in the products by avoiding the compliance regime set by SON on specifications.
“There are challenges, the most strategic position for us to curtail the influx of sub-standard products are at the seaports. We are not there. Even the law setting us up authorised us to be at the seaports. In fact, everywhere commercial activities take place. The last administration removed SON from the seaports. The government then said Customs can invite SON when in their judgment they feel SON should be included”.
He said the issue of low or high quality of goods is for the society, pointing out that the society “must insist on quality. If people can be entitled to quality products in China and United States of America (USA), we in Nigeria are entitled to quality products too. Another difference is that people in China or America return sub-standard products to the suppliers and they replace them or compensate them, but not in Nigeria. We either dump it or buy another one. People should protest sale of substandard products. Alert SON. Return the product and insist on replacement. If that is done regularly the business becomes unattractive for the distributors of such products.
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