Stakeholders make case for SON’s return to ports over influx of sub-standard goods
Stakeholders, including the Senate Committee on Industry as well as other private sector operators have sought government’s review of its position on the return of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) back to the ports to strengthen its regulatory function.
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), had in the process of implementing the executive order on ease of doing business issued by acting President Yemi Osinbajo, last year, ordered SON and other related agencies that were affected to immediately vacate the ports across the country.
The Managing Director of the NPA, Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman had said there were only seven agencies mandated to operate in the port, adding that any agency that is operating in the port outside of the approved agencies should vacate the ports.
However, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Industry, Sam Egwu urged the executive arm of government to revisit the case, saying: “We cannot overemphasize the issue of standardisation, because it is the core of every manufacturing output. We are not happy that SON is not allowed to operate at its maximum capacity especially with their presence being felt at the port.
“Nigeria is import dependent with porous borders and for them not to be at the port to inspect these goods first hand is not good enough. They should be allowed to be at the port to see these products before they enter into the market.
“We have seen products coming into the country from countries that do not have standards and these goods are all cloned with SON logo, this is certainly not good for the Nigerian economy. If not for SON in its efforts to rid this country, they would have gone into the hands of the unsuspecting consumers, he said.
On his part, the Chairman of the Board, BBA, Trade Fair Complex, Okey Ezibe, expressed the association’s willingness to support SON in its fight against substandard goods.
He said: “We have to realise that the present Director General has new ideas to combat the menace of substandard goods. Any country without standards is doomed to fall and we have listened to him and he is committed to fighting the preponderance of fake and substandard goods.”
He however called on the managers of the economy to bring SON back to the nation’s seaports, adding that this is the easiest and safest way to stop these goods from coming into the country.
“These goods are better checked at the ports not in the markets. Dealing in fake and substandard products is a crime to humanity and poses great danger for the nation’s economy, as a result of this, we have decided to collaborate with SON to collectively fight this battle against a substandard goods. We were not doing this before, but the SON boss has convinced us that this is the only way out to stamp out these goods. We have seen his desires and commitment to fighting this war and we would contribute our own quota by lending our support,” he added.
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