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SON mulls pact with China to check sale of sub-standard goods

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Director-General of SON, Dr Paul Angya

Director-General of SON, Dr Paul Angya

To further ensure that goods being imported from China and other Asian countries conform to the nation’s industrial standard, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has unveiled plans to seal a pact with the Chinese government on sale of such products to Nigerian importers.

Specifically, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is expected to address the issuance of Certificate of Free Sale (CFS) to importers who request for the production of sub-standard goods for the country.

Indeed, Certificate of Free Sale are certificates (not pertaining to a particular production lot or export consignment) that indicate that the particular product(s) is marketed in Nigeria or eligible for export, and that the particular manufacturer has no unresolved enforcement actions pending before or taken by regulatory agencies.

In a chat with The Guardian, the Acting Director-General of SON, Dr. Paul Angya explained that the plan to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Republic of China is to stem the flow of substandard goods from China to Nigeria, saying that efforts to put pen to paper to curb such nefarious activity had proved abortive over the years.

He added that while it is established that China has a dual export policy for European and African markets, Nigeria needs a better deal to check the issue of dumping in the country.

“We have been calling for a pact with the Chinese government to compel them to ensure that the same applicable standards obtainable in Europe also apply to Nigeria, but as we speak, they have refused to sign that MoU.

“We are hoping that with the new government, some pressure can be brought to bear on the Chinese authorities to sign that MoU and do their part in stemming the flow of these substandard products to Nigeria. China produces based on what businessmen demand. We are hoping to engage the Chinese authority on this issue,” he said.

According to him, the national quality policy defines the national quality infrastructure, stressing that apart from laying down rules and regulations, the policy makes a survey of the global market situation and defines the modalities to trade at the international market.

In his words: “The previous administration could not approve the national quality policy because it required approval from the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and since 2015, we have been on the job to get the government to adopt the national quality policy and the concomitant national quality infrastructure. This model has worked elsewhere and it is believed that if it truly comes on stream and we have institutions that evaluates laboratories and also give accreditation to test our products for the export market, only then we will be ready for diversification.”


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