SON confiscates N100 million uncertified goods over false declaration
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has seized a 40-feet container stocked with unbranded refrigerators and television hangers over what it described as false declaration by the importer of the items.
According to SON, the importer had claimed that the goods were soldering iron materials, adding that the agency took the action forestall entry of untested and uncertified products into the Nigerian markets as well as to avoid defrauding of government.
The Director, Inspectorate and Compliance, SON, Bede Obayi, explained that the agency had several times informed importers on the importance of always declaring the contents of their containers sincerely, maintaining that this is the only way the federal government’s policy on ease of doing business can be achieved.
He noted that the container which is worth over N100m is not certified by SON, stressing that such products after finding their way into the market, fail to satisfy the purpose for which they were meant for and also going as far as destroying innocent lives and properties.
In his words: “The importer of this container, Golden Ring Mega Biz Ventures Limited brought in this 40-feet container loaded with unbranded refrigerators and LED television hangers, but declared soldering iron. This is false declaration and from our NICIS we monitored the container and was able to intercept it on the highway.”
Obayi during an enforcement exercise in Lagos, said SON will continue to complement efforts of federal government in its quest to assist businesses in the country.
“We have examined the container and the content is different from what the importer declared. As you can see, the refrigerators are unbranded and once it gets into the market, it will carry names of popular brands to deceive the unsuspecting Nigerian consumer.
”They bring in these products and in the next three months, they are gone which shows that they do not meet the minimum requirements of the NIS thereby short-changing the Nigerian consumers of their hard earned resources.
“How can we talk of ease of doing business when people are not actually declaring what they are bringing into the country, the television hangers are not supposed to be in this container? It has been concealed in the refrigerators. The importer is trying to cheat government by not paying duties. The product has not been certified and also the quality is not known by SON. If we do not monitor these imports, how will Nigerians survive in this country with the activities of these unscrupulous importers bring in substandard and fake products into the country,” he added.
He also noted that the importer would face the full wrath of the law under the SON Act Nos 14 of 2015, saying that it will serve as a deterrent to other importers who indulge in illicit trade.