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SON partners NASS to prevent substandard goods importation

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•To extend operations to railway
The Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has disclosed that it is working with the National Assembly (NASS) to strengthen its infrastructure in all the regions of the country, in a bid to curb the influx and distribution of substandard products through the ports.

The Director-General, SON, Farouk Salim stated this yesterday at a one-day capacity building workshop for journalists in Lagos with the theme: “Improved synergy to promote standardisation.”

Salim said the issue of curbing the influx and distribution of substandard and life-threatening products are being approached from many dimensions, as some of SON’s staff have undertaken training programmes with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on the operations of the NICIS 11.

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He said discussions are ongoing for a full integration into the process for operational access and control of SON regulated imports.

He said the agency is working with the National Assembly to equip its regional laboratories and make greater contributions to the diversification of the nation’s economy, just as the National Metrology Institute is already being enhanced with the acquisition of new equipment for calibration in diverse areas of measurement like flow and volume.

The SON Director-General said the agency has embarked on certification of local and international products, with its internationally accredited laboratory services, recognised management systems training services and accredited management systems certification services among others.

He said when all the measures put in place are fully achieved, it will assist the agency, to a very large extent, to prevent substandard products from entering Nigeria without any delay at the ports.

“We have already initiated engagements with key importers across the country to flush out the bad eggs among them and promote self-regulation in our collective interest. SON State offices nationwide have been directed to intensify our market survey activities to monitor the performance of locally certified and imported products in the marketplace,” Salim said.

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Salim also said the agency would shift attention to the rail transport system in its effort to curb circulation of substandard products across Nigeria.

He said the aim of the agency is to ensure goods that come into the country are of a high standard, while preventing those that will be harmful to the suspecting public and the local industry.

“Four months ago, we actually had discussions on the Australian standards organisation where we are going to get the railway standards where we can help the Ministry of Transport to get the standards properly. Also, part of the things we are doing right now in terms of checking substandard goods that would come through the railways, is to have people at the railway stations to check those products to make sure that they are okay,” he said.

Salim said the agency is working with the Federal Government to promote the ease of doing business in the country, while cutting all bureaucracies.

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