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Again, SON warns sub-standard goods dealers

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Osita Aboloma

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has said it would not hesitate to prosecute manufacturers and importers who undermine the provisions of its Act in a bid to cheat consumers through sub-standard goods.

Making these assertions recently in Kano State, the Director General (DG) of SON, Osita Aboloma, while addressing participants of the agency’s one-day stakeholders’ forum on the SON Act of 2015, said faithful implementation of the new Act would guarantee increased sales to genuine manufacturers and importers who, he noted, are presently short-changed because of their inability to compete with cheaper substandard products which flood the nation’s markets.

Aboloma, who was represented at the forum by the Coordinator of the regulatory agency in Kano State, Alhaji Yunusa Mohammed, said the SON Act was intended to achieve was to halt any situation that will enable unscrupulous people from importing substandard products into the country, largely because the previous laws under which the organization operated did not provide commensurate sanctions to offenders and deserved protection and sufficient power to SON officials.

“Now that the new laws have provided an enabling environment for the organization, Nigerians could be rest assured that the menace of substandard products would now be decisively dealt with and culprits instantly reprimanded, ultimately prosecuted and appropriately sanctioned”, he added.

The DG however disclosed that there are provisions in the Act which stakeholders must know so as to ensure necessary sensitization and collaboration in the campaign against substandard products.

This imperative, he explained, informed the agency’s sustained stakeholders’ forum, where SON, sister agencies and other partners, among others, share information and experiences and proffer suggestions on how to win the anti-substandard products battle.

One of the guest speakers, Vice President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Alhaji Ali Madugu, lauded the forum, stressing that public enlightenment is critical in consumer engagement.

Madugu, who spoke on “Everybody is a fisherman”- to imply that everybody is a consumer and a stakeholder in the campaign against substandard products- stated: “From SON to the average Nigerian, we are all consumers; and consumers are in the best position to spread any news. So, a forum like this is part of the engagement”. He urged all Nigerians to appreciate the consequences of the patronage of substandard products to the safety of lives and property, and pleaded that “we should be our brothers’ keepers”.

The MAN Chief however urged the organization to consider the level of education of the people and the appropriate means of communication as they engage consumers.

He commended SON for translating standards in local languages stressing that it was better to engage consumers in the markets and the suburbs through their local language.

Also speaking at the event, a Lecturer at Bayero University, Usman Muhammad Shu’aib Zunnrain described the SON Act as consumer- friendly.

According to him, while the Act greatly empowers SON for increased efficiency and effectiveness, consumers’ rights and welfare were the major reasons for the Act.

He added that the Act is a good tool of immense value addition to all stakeholders, but stressed the imperative of collaboration.


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