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SON Takes Fight Against Substandard Products To States, Arrests 10

Oluwasina Phillip

The Standards Organization of Nigeria, SON, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, with five State Governments to improve standardization of goods produced in the States.

The States are Cross River, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina and Lagos.

The Director-General of SON, Mallam Farouk Salim made this known at a one-day Capacity Building Workshop organized for Journalists by the Organization in Abuja.

Salim said the MOU would go a long way in strengthening the activities of SON with the States towards improving Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs.

He stated that SON over the past none months had arrested about 10 fake manufacturers in Kano, Ibadan and Lagos and are currently being prosecuted.

According to him, sub-standard tyres and other products worth hundreds of millions of naira have been confiscated by the Agency over the last nine months across the country.

Salim explained that SON had been engaging Steel Industries as part of measures to ensure standardization and towards putting an end to building collapse in the country.

The Director-General of SON pointed out that the enforcement activities of the Organization had been increased to prevent the import of substandard goods into the country.

He said efforts were also being made to boost and protect the production of local industries through appropriate monitoring and standard regulations to enable them take advantage of African Free Continental Trade Agreement, AfCTA.

Salim stated that plans were on ground to improve the salary structure and condition of service of SON’s workforce towards boosting standardization of products and protect Nigerian consumers from substandard goods.

He noted that in the last nine months, several State governments in Nigeria has made lands available to the organization to enable it ensure that products in the states are well suited for local and international markets.

On the issue of SON returning to the nation’s ports for operations, Salim said the organization is already working to return to the ports.

He stated, “We are working on it for quick return to the ports, it is not a priority for us, over the last eleven months, we’ve been working outside the ports and doing well’’.

Salim also gave the assurance that the Nigerian government, industries and manufacturers are well prepared to gain more from the African Continental Free Trade Area because of all the measures being put in place.

Salim said, the Nigerian government signed to the trade agreement early this year based on this overall preparedness.

“I can assure you that our cement, other processing and manufacturing industries are prepared especially, the legitimate ones in comparison to other African countries,” he stressed.

He therefore solicited the support of the media towards achieving the mandate of the Agency.

In a remark, the Chairman of Commerce and Industry Correspondents Association of Nigeria, CICAN, Abuja Chapter, Comrade Fred Idehai who commended SON for the workshop said it would go a long way in broadening the knowledge of journalists on the activities of the Organization.

Idehai therefore stressed the need for more partnership between CICAN and SON for an enhanced Products standardization and economic development of the country.

Highlights of the workshop were paper presentations on the activities and mandate of SON.

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