SON seeks Customs’ aid to reduce substandard products’ import
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has sought the help of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to address concerns bordering on the importation of substandard products into the country.
The Acting Director-General of SON, Dr. Paul Angya during a visit to the NCS Zonal Coordinator, Zone ‘C’, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Assistant Comptroller Azarema Abdulkadir, decried the influx of substandard goods in the country noting that people could only live a healthy life, if there were quality goods in circulation.
The SON boss in a statement, called for the establishment of a system that could support SON to flag red alert to nonconformity and substandard products in the ports and borders, pointing out that failure to address the upsurge headlong, would be detrimental to the economy of the country.
He said the nation was fighting another form of war, which was substandard products, emphasising that SON would need the support of an institution like the Customs in “fighting the war”.
Angya stated: “Our mandate and what we do is very important for people to live quality and fulfilled life. People can only live a quality life if there are quality goods. Our job affects people’s lives. That is why we need collaboration from the Customs because they are the first point of call of importation.
“Now is a very challenging time in our history and we must lay emphasis on standards. Substandard products have outrun the economy of the country. They have wrecked havoc on the nation’s economy.
“If we do not sanitise the country of substandard goods, all efforts for diversification of the nation’s economy will fail. Until we clean up the country of substandard products, our economy has not started. We, as a nation, have not started.
“We are in another type of war. These substandard products are seriously attacking our economy. Until we address the upsurge, we would make no headway”, SON boss lamented.
Dr. Angya disclosed that the organisation had shut down the Electronic Professional Clearance Certificate (EPCC) platform, so that people bringing goods into Nigeria will conform to SONCAP regime.
“So, for us to succeed, we need the cooperation of Customs as the landlords of the ports. They are first point of contact, when products land. So, we need their support, we need their manpower and their expertise. Customs have been assisting us in the past; but we are asking them to give us more. The problem is there. It has not gone away. We need additional support from them to be able to curb the influx of substandard products in the country”, the DG appealed.
Responding, the Zonal Coordinator, Zone C, Port Harcourt, Assistant Comptroller General of Customs, Abdulkadir, noted that the DG of SON touched salient issues affecting the nation, admitting that there was need to work together as government agencies.
Abdulkadir stated: “We share the pains of the blames you are getting. The most important way to control and address it is by collaboration between SON and Customs. It is our responsibility to assist them in the fight against substandard goods.
“No one organization can achieve effectively without the cooperation of relevant agencies. SON has the responsibility of checking importation of substandard products. But, they are not in total control of the movement of the products. That has to do with the Customs, and I believe the essence of the visit is for collaboration.