Industry & Commerce Manufacturing

SON confiscates, evacuates substandard products from warehouses

By Charles Okonji
In an intensified effort in sanitizing the Nigerian market and getting rid of products that failed conformity test, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has seized fake and substandard tyres, solar batteries and baby feeding bottles products worth several billions of naira in Lagos.
The Standards body evacuated these substandard products from several warehouses located in various markets in Lagos State as part of efforts to rid the country of unwholesome products.
Speaking to newsmen in Lagos, the Director-General of SON, Dr Ifeanyi Okeke, said the tyres were damaged because of the act of stuffing them into one another in containers for shipment.
On his part, Mr Pius Manji, Director, Inspectorate and Compliance Department, who represented Okeke during the raids, said the evacuation exercise was to ensure that the tyres do not find their ways into the nation’s market, adding that products have been tested but failed the critical parameters as a result of stuffing.
According to him, “The act of stuffing tyres into one another instead of bringing it in different containers has rendered the tyres dead on arrival into the country.
“If they are to bring 2000 tyres in one container, they will now have the opportunity to bring in 8000 tyres and in doing that, this compromises the quality of the tyres.”
“The tyres are made of wires and carbon and the test reviewed that the textile strength of the tyres have been compromised so they are no more fit for use and this is why we are going to destroy them. They may look nice in the eyes, but we rely on scientific investigation and analysis,” he stated.
The SON boss explained that solar batteries seized were fakes from known brands, but they could not withstand the rigours of the different quality testing, hence no longer safe for public use.
“These solar batteries are very expensive, so consumers must have value for the money. The world is going fossil energy, we will discourage anything that will hinder Nigerians from getting it right,” he emphasized.
He noted that it’s scandalous that some bad elements can go as far as producing counterfeit baby feeding bottles just to make more money.
He urged the bad elements involved in the heinous crime of importing adulterated products to look elsewhere as the SON has zero-tolerance for product counterfeiting.
Okeke pointed out that SON has been successfully repositioned by significant re-invigoration of the war on fake and substandard products for better results.
He reiterated that SON is the federal government’s agency vested with the onerous responsibility of standardising and regulating the quality of all products in Nigeria.
He said SON Act No 14 of 2015 has given the organisation power for enforcement, seizure, confiscation and destruction of sub-standard products, including powers to seal off premises where such defective products are manufactured, stored or sold.
He maintained that under his watch, the SON would frontally confront architects of substandard products and make business miserable for them.
He affirmed that he has set machinery in motion to encourage participation of the Organised Private Sector, OPS, in the standardisation and review process in order to ensure improved competitiveness of Nigerian goods at home and abroad by encouraging quality assurance practices.
The DG alluded that the organisation now provides information, enlightenment, advice and assistance to industries to match the required competitiveness in global trade and to motivate the workforce through steady investment in human resource development for acquisition of skills in line with latest technology.
With regard to the danger the criminal activities of those dealing in substandard and counterfeit products poses to the lives and wellbeing of Nigerians, Dr. Okeke said SON has deployed modern electronic platforms to tackle the menace.
“The platforms include the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme, MANCAP, for locally manufactured products; the off-shore Conformity Assessment Programme, SONCAP, for certification of imported products from source; Product Registration for documentation and traceability of all products in the market and library services for access to relevant standards for local production, import and export with ease, among others.”

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