The Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) yesterday disclosed that importers operating in the country imported N22.7billion worth of substandard products into the country this year.
Disclosing this during a sensitisation workshop organised for maritime stakeholders in Lagos yesterday, the director-general of SON, Osita Aboloma, stated that substandard products which posed grave dangers to lives and properties, as well as the economy of the nation had been seized and destroyed by the agency.
The SON DG, who was represented by the director, DG’s Office, Alhaji Mohammed Kabiru lauded the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) and other key stakeholders in the maritime sector for their continuous support and collaboration with SON.
According to SON DG, “The nation’s economy and the lives of Nigerians are also further endangered due to the influx of substandard goods. It is worthy to note that the value of substandard products that SON has seized in the past one year is estimated to be over N22.7bn (both destroyed and awaiting destruction). Some of these products are: tyres; electric cables; LPG cylinders; lubricants; communication cables; unfortified sugar.
“ I therefore implore you to join us to sensitize and educate all importers and the public on the importance of quality goods and products as well as the dangers associated with substandard and life-endangering products.
“The works of standardization, quality assurance as well as campaign against the menace of substandard products remains a collaborative and partnership endeavour among SON and its stakeholders.
“Suffice to state that over 80 percent of products that enter into Nigeria daily, monthly or yearly are via the nation’s seaports and waterways. It is therefore critical to collaborate with the maritime sector operators in the quest for zero import of substandard and unwholesome products as well as the Federal Government’s Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Policy.”
“One major way of bringing the players on board the standards and quality voyage is through sensitization/enlightenment. You may wish to recall that similar forums have been organised by the SON in recent times across the country. The end, they say, justifies the means.
“This workshop’s objectives include, providing a veritable avenue for cross-fertilization of ideas, views, suggestions and solutions on how to move the Nation’s maritime sector forward, especially in furtherance of the Federal Government’s Ease of Doing Business policy relative to Electronic clearance, destination inspection and the on-going repositioning of the Nation’s Ports.”
The DG also bemoaned non-involvement of the agency in cargoes clearance at some seaports and border points in the country.
“It is important to note that non-involvement of SON at some Ports of entry in the country operations has continued to pose challenges, particularly to the agency’s compliance and monitoring units. The essence of this workshop is to interact with you maritime players, to discuss import/export businesses, with the objective of getting you deeply committed to doing the right things, especially concerning import processes and procedures.”
Participants at the workshop included representatives of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN); representatives from relevant sister agencies, Customs, CBN, FIRS, Police, NPA, NIMASA, Fire Service, etc; representatives from Business Membership Organisations (BMOs), NACCIMA, LCCI, NASSI, NASME, etc; and Representatives of market Associations in the South-West Region.