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SON tasks importers on backward integration

By Femi Adekoya
09 October 2019   |   4:04 am
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has urged importers to venture into manufacturing to create wealth and job opportunities for the nation's teeming unemployed youths.

The Director-General, SON, Osita Aboloma

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has urged importers to venture into manufacturing to create wealth and job opportunities for the nation’s teeming unemployed youths.

The Director General, SON, Osita Aboloma said that importers should make efforts to establish manufacturing and assembling plants for the production of electronic products and also to boost trade.

Aboloma said such initiative would go a long way to save the country’s foreign exchange since most of what is imported into the country can be manufactured locally.

He advised importers to get the required standards to make their products competitive, noting that with the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) accented by President, Muhammadu Buhari, Nigerian manufacturers must up their game so as not to be overwhelmed by foreign goods.

Aboloma was represented by the Director, Inspectorate and Compliance Directorate, Obiora Manafa, at a one day sensitisation programme with importers and dealers of electronics in Alaba international market in Lagos.

He said adhering to standards was the key to bringing back the glory days of Alaba international market.

He expressed the agency’s readiness to work with local manufacturers to make their goods exportable in a bid to earn foreign exchange and boost the economy.

He said, “Instead of faking established brands, build your own brands and make money from it. We are also advising them to go into manufacturing; we cannot continue to depend on import of electronic products.

“For example, Made in Nigerian cable is one of the best all over the world. The electronic products’ importers should emulate the cable sector by going into manufacturing.

” We are open anytime to help you to in selecting materials and equipment for you to start producing. This is better for you and for the economy at large.”

According to him, the fight against substandard products is a big one, saying that a lot of unscrupulous are been made to face the law for dealing in substandard products to serve as deterrent to importers who have intentions to indulge in the nefarious act.

He pointed out that SON has in its warehouse with substandard electric cables waiting for court order to be destroyed, while also restating the agency’s commitment to bringing down the influx of substandard goods into the country.

“We are just waiting for the court order to destroy; very soon we are going to destroy them so that people will see the extent we have gone in this fight and we are not going to relent on our effort in our fight against substandard product. It is a very huge market filled with a lot of smugglers bringing in goods without SONCAP certificates. We found out these people by going to their warehouses and even outside the market. It is a continuous fight and we are really making progress,” he added.

Earlier, the president, Alaba International Amalgamated Trader Association, Ichie Fabian Ezeorjika commended SON’s integrity, capacity for work and tireless contribution and encouragement toward ensuring that the market stands out as an exemplary leading market with quality assurance practices.

He highlighted that the agency’s sensitisation visits have created great positive impact in its industry, stating the association’s readiness to collaborate with SON to drive its zero tolerance for substandard imports programme.

The president general, Electrical Dealers Association of Nigeria (EDAN), High Chief, Stephen Agabige, commended SON’s enforcement activities in the market, saying that before now it was very difficult to sanitise the electrical market, but for the intervention of SON it is gradually winning the war.