By OLAJIDE FABAMISE, Lagos
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has uncovered over N8 billion worth of Nigerian cloned cables at two residential buildings in the Ajangbadi area of Lagos.
The imports belonging to one Estobest Electrical Limited was intercepted by an enforcement team of the SON at warehouses where 20 different brands of cloned cables were stocked. These included made in Nigeria cables, as well as other brands such as NOCAN, surecan, Necaco, Kable mex, purecan and Nigertin amongst several others.
Director-general, SON, Mr. Osita Aboloma, while conducting journalists round the premises in Lagos, said those implicated in illegal deal would be made to face the full wrath of the law. He said the company targeted and cloned Nigerian cables already certified by the SON, in deceptive packages, adding that more of such firms would be uncovered.
According to him, SON has made some enviable progress in the area of sanitising the nation’s cable market, and that dubious importers were not trying to cash in on that achievement, thereby going overseas ?to clone Nigerian cables adjudged to be best in the world.
“All these cloned-Nigerian cable were made in China, but packaged as made-in-Nigeria products. You know we are proud of made-in-Nigeria cables, because it is about the? Best cable over the world. This illegal act will not be accepted; SON will not allow it. We are going to go after the importer and prosecute him,’’ he said.
Citing the decision of the importers to locate the warehouse in a residential area, Aboloma, who was represented by Engr. Bede Obayi, director, Inspectorate and Compliance, said it was to avoid the prying eyes of the regulatory agencies. He said that SON enforcement team would continue to burst dubious importers who resort to bringing in substandard products.
He said, “Nobody can imagine someone coming down here to fully stock two buildings with substandard cables. These are purported to be Nigerian brands but made in China”, he said wondering how the country could make progress when some Nigerians by themselves are sabotaging the effort of the government.
“Some Nigerian companies are lying off staff because of low sales. Because the government has now focused on promoting quality products made in Nigeria, these people now go abroad, fake Nigerian products already certified by the SON. Those behind it would be made to face the full wrath of the law, because it is a clear case of fraud.”
According to him, the agency decided to evacuate the warehouse in line with SON mandate, and to ensure that the products do not find a way to the market, adding that the result would have been disastrous.
“How can people go overseas and bring down cables that are not in any way made by any Nigerian company and label it ‘made in Nigeria?’. The implication is that indigenous companies will find it difficult to survive. How can Nigerian companies survive with these importers faking their products? Today, Nigerian youths do not have jobs because they have been laid off”, he said, saying the SON would not allow such to continue.”
Aboloma reassured that since the SON now had prosecutorial powers, it would ensure that those behind the illegal act would be prosecuted.
He said: “Nigerians are at a very dangerous position because of the activities of people trying to fake already certified brands by the SON. You can imagine Nigerian loosing N8 billion to this nefarious activity. Which company will survive when the substandard products are taking over, and with employment generation also being affected?
“The qualities of these brands are not the same with certified brands by SON. With these kinds of cables, more houses would go on fire because they are poor cables being sold as good cables. We are going to improve our surveillance activities and prosecute erring importers with the help of our SON act.” He also advised consumers to be sure of where they buy their cables, making sure it is certified by the SON.’’