Chief of Staff to Director General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Prof Olobayo Kunle (left); Director General, SON, Mallam Farouk Salim; Executive Chairman, Electrical Dealers Association of Nigeria (EDAN), Ichie Fabian Ezeorjika, and Senior Special Assistant to Director General, SON, Emeka Duru, during Salim’s visit to EDAN at Alaba International Market, in Lagos.
The Director-General, SON, Mallam Farouk Salim, had warned that it would no longer be business as usual, stating that the agency will ensure that all equipment used in measuring various parameters are calibrated in the country.
Amid growing concerns on the prevalence of substandard products in the Nigerian market, particularly from the Asian markets, Salim said SON is currently conducting a market survey to assess the level of such poor quality products to ascertain the nature, type and origin of imports.
For locally produced goods, Salim said some steel manufacturers in Lagos were penalised for poor adherence to standards by asking them to return the steel back to foundries.
Despite this challenge, he said SON is strengthening its inter-agency collaboration to check substandard products and faking, particularly with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) due to the health implications.
On a return policy mooted by the agency over the years, Salim said the decision was beyond the agency’s jurisdiction, saying that the issue has to be deliberated at the highest level of government based on bilateral relations and agreements with the countries from where substandard products emanate.
SON also plans to bring back identification marks to enable consumers to check for quality assurance in a more sustainable way, as opposed to the current practice where you buy the product and scratch and text the numbers to a short code for confirmation.
Meanwhile, Salim, during a sensitisation workshop for Electrical Dealers Association of Nigeria (EDAN) at the Alaba International Market, Lagos at the weekend urged the electrical dealers to uphold the highest quality standards for them to benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
He revealed the agency’s willingness to work with the association in ensuring that the market was free from substandard goods.
“In other, for the market to have a good reputation and to have more customers across the world especially with this open border policy in the AfCFTA, it is very important for them to police themselves, find out those people with bad products and report them to us so that we can take them out of the market.
“So far, they have not given us a reason to doubt their commitment towards eradicating substandard goods.
“I commend the association for serving Nigerians with quality products because if not for you, the country would have been dominated by foreign goods.
“Anybody here with certification or who has genuine products does not have a problem with SON,” he said.
The SON DG advised the association to always insist on quality products, warning that substandard electronics and electrical products were life-endangering products capable of causing destruction.
He added that the association had also constituted an ad hoc committee called Standard and Anti-Adulteration Committees, vested with the responsibilities of standardising and regulating the quality of products in the electrical section.
He stated that the association would continue to work with SON to arrest and punish defaulters according to the association’s constitution and report them when necessary.