The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) on Thursday stormed some major markets in Lagos and impounded several goods suspected to be substandard products.
Dr Joseph Odumodu, SON Director-General, who led the operation told journalists that the raid was in continuation of his agency’s bid to rid the country of substandard products.
He said that SON team sealed over 40 shops trading in substandard products such as cables, electrical accessories, generating sets and also impounded large quantity of substandard gas cylinders.
Odumodu, represented by Mr Samuel Adegun, SON South-West Zonal Coordinator, said that the organisation simultaneously stormed Aba, Onitsha, Port Harcourt and Abuja markets to carry out the exercise.
He said that the operations carried out on the outlets for substandard products were the agency’s deliberate strategy to stop the perpetrators from flooding the markets with the fake products.
Odumodu described the exercise as `` market storm”, adding that it came after a 14-day ultimatum given to the traders to remove substandard products from their shelves elapsed.
``I introduced zero tolerance to substandard products on assumption of office which was aimed at sensitising the various stakeholders on the hazards and economic implications of substandard products.
``Our storming the markets is justified because aside from the dangers of dealing in substandard products, no trader will say he has not been informed,” he said.
Odumodu urged the traders to conduct self check to rid the markets of substandard products, adding that the presence of such products was denying the genuine manufacturers and importers of returns on their investment.
``SON has done enough sensitisation before embarking on the operation. We have the statutory powers to remove substandard products.
``We will not stop here, but will take a step further to prosecute importers and dealers in substandard products,’’ he said.
He said that the agency had expected the traders and other stakeholders in the sector to cooperate and obey requisite instructions on safe importation or dealing on products.
``But since some people were still bent on trading illegally, the agency had no option than to perform its statutory functions,” he said.
Mr Bede Obayi, SON Head of Enforcement of Special Task force said that some importers had devised new tricks of faking products.