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SON targets 10% reduction in substandard goods by 2016




Hinging its new agenda on the strength of its ‘operation flush campaign’ and integration of its online platform with other stakeholders, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has announced plans to reduce the level of substandard goods in the country by 10 per cent before end of 2016.

According to the agency, efforts are underway to stem the illicit act from the current 35 per cent to less than 10 per cent before the end of 2016.

The Director General, SON, Dr. Joseph Odumodu said the influx of substandard goods is indirectly killing local production in the country, maintaining that made-in-Nigeria goods have continued to compete with substandard goods endangering the lives and properties of innocent citizens in the country.

Odumodu during a sensitisation seminar on the integration of SON’s e-certificate into Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System (NICIS) tagged ‘Trade facilitation via automation of SON’s service, said ‘before the end of the year, we shall be singing a new song. We have a new mandate to enter any place and remove goods we find wanting.

“We are quite glad to inform you that the volume of such products has dropped from 80 per cent to 35 per cent and courtesy of our “operation flush”, we are determined to bring the percentage down to 10 per cent by the end of the year”, he said.

He however stated that to achieve the feat, the agency would require the cooperation and collaboration of all stakeholders and the public, pointing out the need ‎for collective security.

In his words: “All life endangering products must be eliminated completely from our shores and environment because they remain unsafe to lives and property even as they are disincentives to investment, employment and economic drive”.

He expressed concerns over the low level of intra-Africa trade, saying that influx of substandard goods is not peculiar to Nigeria alone but the same in other African countries.‎

“There is a massive influx of substandard products from Asia and as a result of this, industries are closing down and people are being laid out. ‎We are working very hard to negotiate the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) because Africa must harmonise its standards ‎and technical regulations. We want a situation when you clear a good in South Africa it is as good as clearing it in Nigeria. This will act like a common market and goods can move around without barrier”, he said.‎

He noted that Africa is about 30 to 40 per cent of the world’s population, but still accounts for only 3 per cent in global trade ‎

“We need to facilitate trade and transactionalism by putting in place measures to removing barriers that hinder and inhibit trade whether intra or inter trade harmonisation between and among countries has increased competition and narrowed global market. We are now talking of advancing the cause and coast of economic blocs.

Meanwhile, the SON boss added that the integration of SON’s systems and certificates into Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System (NICIS) is indeed to primarily drive home its organisation’s service delivery capabilities.‎

He said the agency has developed a trade portal and NICIS that covers areas that will convert all SON Certifications and certificates to electronic format, online transmission of certificate to trade portal, NICIS by consignee for Form ‘M’ and Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) consignment processing at the comfort of the person’s office, eliminating direct contact and visits to SON office for certification processing.‎

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