SON, NAGAFF seal pact on reduction of sub-standard goods’ import
To make its 2016 target of 15 per cent decline in sub-standards goods achievable, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) have sealed a pact to such end.
Justifying the move, SON Director-General, Dr. Joseph Odumodu, explained that the influx of substandard goods into the country brings no economic value; rather, such goods destroy lives, properties and kill Nigerian industries.
The SON boss during an interactive session with NAGAFF to forge a strategic alliance to combat the influx of substandard products, said since his assumption of office, the agency had destroyed over N10 billion worth of substandard goods in the country, a staggering and intensive amount he said the nation is not proud of.
“We are planning to establish a laboratory to store samples of substandard goods imported into the country from different parts of the world to show Nigerians the extent of wide range of substandard products made by human beings to be consumed by Nigerians.
“We must change the way we relate with each other and how we conduct our businesses. We all have to go through a period of change.
I do not believe in change for change sake, but believe a lot in change if it is going to lead to a positive outcome. Since my assumption of office in 2011, we have focused on bringing change in the way that we conduct the business of the agency,” he said.
He said the agency is coming from a regime which he described as an “all-comers business”, saying that people conducted businesses the way they wanted which resulted to death of people and also killing local production.
“What I have come to do today is to seek your collaboration, engagement so that jointly, we can take the maritime sector to the next level. We can all make it happen and we must all work together.
We will continue to do whatever it takes to remove bad products from our system. I am assuring you that what we have done in the past will not be up to 20 per cent of what we are going to do in next year. We have to work together so that we can stop the killing of Nigerian industries,” he added.
He said the agency believes collaborating with key stakeholders in the maritime sector is one of the ways to combat the influx of substandard goods into the country.
“We are not experts on maritime affairs, so we need to learn from those who have been in the business long enough. We have to work more closely with all the maritime agencies because at SON, we have a target of less than 15 per cent next year. I cannot achieve it if I do not partner with relevant authorities and I believe NAGAFF is one of those parties that I will have to engage to achieve the target”, he noted.
The Founder, NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, said SON has the responsibility to stop and conduct inspection of containers at any point in time, saying that the collaboration between SON and NAGAFF has been extant.
“We are just here to strengthen the existing relationship. SON has the responsibility to protect lives and properties of Nigerians. I am sure the target of the Director General of SON to bring down the influx of substandard goods to 15 per cent is achievable because he is committed and competent. I think competent is the watchword and the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari is leading the crusade of change and that change should be carried out by people who voted for change”, he said.