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SON reiterates concerns about importation of substandard goods

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Standard Organisations of Nigeria (SON). Photo/Pharmaapproach

Destroys gas cylinders, tyres worth N300m

Reaffirming its zero tolerance on substandard goods, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), said it has destroyed gas cylinders and tyres worth over N300 million.

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The move, according to the agency, is a demonstration of its efforts to reduce the influx of substandard goods in the country to the barest minimum.

Indeed, the standards body stated that the proliferation and destruction caused by substandard goods are worrisome and impede the growth and development of any nation.

The Director-General, Farouk Salim, at a destruction exercise of these goods in Lagos, said SON is increasing its surveillance and intelligence, while also working with importers to checkmate the influx of substandard goods.

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He added: “We are destroying these goods in an environmentally friendly way because we do not want to pollute the environment and we also want to ensure that everything recyclable would be recycled properly.”

He noted that with the commencement of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA), the agency is prepared to ensure that only goods that meet the minimum requirements of the standards are allowed into the country from neighbouring African countries.

“In terms of the AfCFTA, we are prepared and all our standards are international standards. We are prepared standard wise to watch out for products brought in from other African countries. We are ready for any situation whether from Africa or other continents across the world.

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He noted that the destruction of the substandard gas cylinders and tyres is a culmination of all the cases the agency has treated with more products waiting for court orders to be destroyed.

”We are looking at N300 million worth of goods to be destroyed and this is just an estimate. We are destroying them. About six containers of tyres were stuffed into each other and for the cylinders; we intercepted them from multiple sources. We still have more products waiting for court orders to be destroyed because we cannot on our own destroy them illegally.

“Within our powers, we are increasing our surveillance and ensuring that intelligence is being done too. We are also working with importers to identify the genuine and fake importers,” he stated.

He said SON is currently working with senior government officials to seek a return to the nation’s seaports, stressing that over 85 per cent of the goods imported into the country come in through the Lagos seaports.

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Also speaking, the Director, Compliance, SON, Obiora Manafa, said going forward in 2021, the agency would intensify its sensitization programmes to educate consumers on the negative effects of substandard products in Nigeria.

He said so far, its sensitization campaigns have been yielding positive fruits, as many market organizations have continued to heap praise on SON, while many dealers are now brand owners rather than importing.

The Assistant Director, Head of Enforcement, Lagos Office, Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC), Charles Amudipe, said SON and NCC have been partnering over the years to reduce the influx of substandard goods in the country, stating that most of the goods destroyed are counterfeit and substandard.

He said both agencies would strengthen their partnership to ensure the safety of Nigerian consumers.

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