Getting operators to meet minimum standards challenging, says SON
• Reads riot Act to lubricants’ importers, producers
Worried about the high level of failures recorded from its survey of the lubricant market, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has announced plans to intensify efforts to combat the influx of fake and substandard lubricants in the country.
Indeed, the SON noted that it was becoming difficult to get operators to meet the minimum standards of production, adding that the agency would not hesitate to sanction erring firms that put the economy in jeopardy and lives of Nigerians at risk.
Indeed, the standards body stated the urgent need to checkmate the emerging trend of faking and cloning of successful brands so as not to short-change the unsuspecting Nigerian consumers while also preventing a drain on the Nigerian economy.According to the Director General, SON, Osita Aboloma, over 70 per cent of the lubricants in the market failed the quality parameters of the Nigerian Industrial Standard (NIS).
The SON boss during an emergency meeting with stakeholders in the lubricant industry said the development is a cause of worry to the agency, pointing out that more worrisome was the persistent cloning and faking of successful brands in the country.He said this nefarious activity by unscrupulous importers is totally against the present administration’s ease of doing business mandate, calling on the need of stakeholders to support SON in its fight to combating the influx of substandard goods into the country.
Aboloma said: “The meeting was as a result of the persistent complaints from the consumers on the effect of the influx of substandard and adulterated engine oil that has led to failure of machineries that are used in manufacturing. They are life threatening and create drain on the economy. After our nationwide campaign of fighting substandard lubricants, we have them to let them know that what we have seen is not satisfactory even as we explore a workable partnership to see how we can combat the menace.
“This is why we let them know that when they register their products, it becomes the responsibility of SON to protect them from purveyors of substandard products. Some of the goods that are outrightly dangerous will have to be destroyed while some undergo corrective measures all at the cost of the owners of such products.”
He said conformity to standards does not end at the port, saying that the battle for conformity assessment and quality assurance is like a moving target.”We need everybody to come on board and this is why we are making SON more flexible, dynamic and easier to access. This is why we are opening our frontiers to you and it is still our belief that if you see something unwholesome you will say something to us,” he stressed.
Also, the Managing Director, LUBCON, Taiye Williams, said the activities of adulterators are killing the manufacturing sector of the economy, saying after going through the effort to churn out quality products, such dealers in fake and substandard goods indulge in faking the successful brands in the market to rob consumers of their hard earned money spent on goods while also destroying the image of successful brands in the market.
The Chief Executive Officer, Dozzy Group, Daniel Chukwudozie, commended SON’s effort in fighting the menace of substandard goods while calling on the Nigerian Customs to step up their game as these goods are better checked at the point of entry.
“Manufacturing is the hub of this nation and creates job opportunities for Nigeria’s teeming population, so SON must check mate the influx of these substandard lubricants so that it does not kill the industry,” he said.