Strict adherence to standards imperative for EODB realisation
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has charged importers and local manufacturers in the country to adhere strictly to standards in their operations in a bid to achieve the federal government’s ease of doing business mandate.
Indeed, the agency noted that the charge is coming on the heels of the Executive Order signed by the federal government to promote transparency and efficiency in the business environment designed to facilitate the ease of doing business in the country, saying that SON would only give express entry to only goods that meet the minimum requirement of the Nigeria Industrial Standards (NIS).
The Director General, SON, Osita Aboloma, explained that to achieve this feat of the federal government, the standards body has put in place standard operating procedures to make importers and local manufacturers go about their businesses with ease.
Aboloma during a one day sensitization forum with stakeholders in the import business of the economy, urged importers and local manufacturers to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the federal government to improve the business community while adhering to standards.
In his words: “It is important for importers to make use of these opportunities the federal government has put in place to facilitate trade by ensuring that they do not engage in false declaration. What you say you are bringing as declared with our independent accredited firms overseas must be what you are bringing in at the point of entry so that we will give these products express entry into the country.
‘’This why we are organizing this forum to bring all the stakeholders in the import business to know the role they have to play to achieve federal government ease of doing business mandate. So from today onward, they will continue to do things right. This is a collaboration with the organized private sector. Importers have responsibilities in the ease of doing business and we want them to talk to us and tell us where the shoe pinches”.
The SON boss who was represented by the Director, Inspectorate and Compliance, Bede Obayi, said the agency will stop at nothing to ensure that the nation is rid of substandard products in the country.
“We have put the standards operating procedures for them which will make business easy for them while giving value to consumers in terms of service delivery. In clearing your goods, you must get your product certificate to open your form M, you must also get your SONCAP certificate for you to clear it here in Nigeria and also yield yourself for checks to address false declaration,” he advised.
The president, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Chief Increase, commended the SON for the event, saying that it is an all important stakeholders forum to enlighten the public on the need of fostering trade without compromising standards of import business in Nigeria, saying that the event is timely especially at a time when the current administration is taking measures to ensure that all hinderances to trade is removed.
He said care must be taken is securing the nation’s supply chain through the vigilance of regulatory agencies carrying out the federal government’s mandate.
He said the unscrupulous importers are becoming more sophisticated in carrying out their illicit trade, saying urgent steps must be taken by the Nigerian Customs Service ( NCS) and other regulatory agencies to stamp this ugly trend
On his part, the National Public Secretary, Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agent ( ANLCA), Kayode Farinto, said the federal government’s ease of doing business is achievable theoretically, but not achievable practically, adding that the government has not put in place the structures to achieve the mandate.
“This is why I say that government is not serious. We cannot have ease of doing business when we have bad roads, we do not have ports again. I expected the federal government to declare state of emergency on our roads and a lot of things happening while the government is looking the other way.
“The federal government wants to achieve ease of doing business, but they are putting the cart before the horse. There are things that need to be done before we can achieve ease of doing business. The federal government has to be pragmatic in terms of action,” he stressed
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