SON canvasses product registration to check substandard goods influx
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has blamed the illicit trade of substandard goods on unscrupulous importers, noting that the importers wilfully import such goods to cheat unsuspecting Nigerians.
The Director General, SON, Osita Aboloma, explained that Nigeria has become a dumping ground for all manners of substandard goods due to importers who try to cut corners when bringing in goods with no economic value.
Aboloma at an awareness programme on dangers of substandard products in circulation at the Lagos Trade Fair Complex, urged manufacturers and importers to register their products to get the full backing and support from SON, saying that this move would make it difficult for any importer to register their products using existing brand names.
“For us to win the battle against fake and substandard products, we must agree to do the right thing. If you set up from the outset to cheat Nigerians, it will be difficult for you to get it right; so that is why we are here to imbibe the culture of standardization to do things the right way,” he added.
The SON helmsman announced plans to incentivize genuine importers who transact businesses in compliance to the minimum requirements of the Nigerian Industrial Standards (NIS), maintaining that the move was in line with the present administration’s Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) mandate.
According to him, the agency would incentivise genuine importers by way of registration, reducing port charges and speedy clearance of containers.
“If you are a genuine importer and you consistently do the right thing, we will reduce your processes, by extension, we have been able to assess your risk, your clearance and registration of the goods you are bringing in will come in easier and faster and at the same time, the unscrupulous importers would be blacklisted. I believe this would make unscrupulous importers desist from the illicit trade of substandard goods.”
He added: “We do risk profiling for the importers that get it right. We encourage them and we have automated our processes to make it easier for them and for those that default, we will blacklist them by sending their names to China so that they do not work with them to import fake and substandard products into the country. It is a mere use of carrot and stick approach to fight against substandard products.”
Also speaking at the event, the President of Balogun Business Association (BBA), Alex Obi Igbokwe, said the association would set up a standard club to check the activities of unscrupulous businessmen in the market.
“We are going to flag off a standard club in the association in a bid to checkmate the activities of these importers; this would go a long way to curb the influx of fake and substandard products into the country. As it affects the economy, it also affects us too, because most of our customers are running away to avoid purchasing substandard goods.
“If they buy goods that do not meet their needs, they will not come back to buy another time, so for that reason, there is need for us to sit up. The standard club will also help to curtail the activities of these so called unscrupulous importers.”
It would be recalled that SON and BBA had earlier partnered to reduce the influx of fake and substandard goods in the country.
He noted that SON decided to partner with the association because it is the biggest single market in West African region, pointing out that the association is the best and the most reasonable place to start our fight against substandard goods.
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