ENFORCEMENT: SON DESTROY TYRES, CYLINDERS
Seeks policy to repatriate substandard goods, Ready for AfCFTA
In its quest to ensure that standards and quality guidelines are adhered to, the Standard Organization of Nigeria has destroyed tyres and cooking gas cylinders valued over N300m.
The Director-General, Farouk Salim told newsmen during the destruction at SON warehouse in Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos that the items were intercepted at various locations within the country.
Salim disclosed that the tyres were stuffed into each other to probably avoid payment of government levies/duty at the ports/border posts.
According to Salim the stuffing, apart from compromising the integrity of the tyres, it also poses serious safety issues as such compromised tyres could easily explode under pressure. Nigeria is a country with very high temperatures and the condition of our roads demands that road users take extra safety precautions while on the roads”
“You remember that a senior government official some time ago died from tyre explosion. I am not saying those tyres were compromised but it points to the need for all of us to be very careful. SON has a duty to protect innocent Nigerians from the criminal activities of greedy, selfish importers of substandard products”
“I wish we could send these tyres and other such items to where they are coming from. Nigeria cannot be used as dumping ground for fake items. Unfortunately, we cannot do that now but subsequently, we are looking at such possibilities”
The SON Director General decried the activities of unpatriotic Nigerians who want to make money at all cost. He states that SON will continue to work harder at enforcement in Nigerian market but lamented the unavailability of the Police and other military personnel needed for such exercise.
In his words “We cannot go into Nigerian markets nor the nooks and crannies of this country without adequate police escort/protection for our staff. These are some of the challenges we face in our duty so Nigerians must own the fight against fake/substandard products”
Salim stated that “The cylinders are from multiple sources. We do not destroy anything without clearance from the courts. It is just dangerous for the community. They fall short of quality standards and using at homes poses serious danger to families. They can explode and cause severe damage. The risk to lives is also very high”
“We still have more products waiting for court orders to be destroyed because we cannot on our own destroy them,” he added.
Salim stressed the standards body’s preparedness to ensure the passage of only goods that meet the minimum requirements following the commencement of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
“In terms of the AfCFTA, we are prepared as far as standardizing is concerned.
“We are ready for any situation whether from Africa or other continents across the world,” he said.
Also speaking, SON’s Compliance Director, Engr. Obiora Manafa, said the agency was poised to intensify its sensitization programmes to educate Nigerians on the negative effect of substandard products in 2021.
“The sensitization campaigns had so far yielded positive results according to the feedbacks from many market organizations on the processes,” he said.
Mr. Charles Amudipe, Assistant Director, Head of Enforcement, Lagos Office, Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC), said both the SON and the NCC would continue to strengthen their partnership to ensure the safety of Nigerian consumers.