By Innocent Orok
In a bid to ensure and improve lives through enforcing Standards, The Director General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mallam Farouk Salim has issued a three months compliance ultimatum to both manufacturers and distributors of Steel products in the Country.
The order was given by the SON, DG during a meeting with Steel manufacturers and steel distributors on Thursday. The three months ultimatum was to allow them clear out all the substandard steel bars in the markets.
Speaking during the emergency meeting held at the SON Ogba Complex Mallam Salim appealed to all Steel manufacturers and marketers in the country to put their house in order as failure to comply will result in prosecutions and jailing of offenders.
He cited the recent spate of building collapse in the country which have claimed hundreds of lives saying it is a big blow on the nation and especially the construction industry which the steel sector falls under.
According to him, the consequences of these disasters has raised concerns and the onus is always on Standards Organisation of Nigeria to get to the root cause of the issues with the view to finding a lasting solution.
He further advised that moving forward, both the manufacturers and distributors have been given two months to form associations for self regulation and an organised way of articulating industry challenges to ensure strict compliance and also root amongst their members those engaging in such inimical acts .
According to Salim the African Continental Free Trade Area ( AfCFTA) which has legally taken effect from January this year means our borders are be open and any substandard product sold may be rejected thereby hindering economic growth.
Salim, however reaffirmed SON’S mandate to foster trade and economic growth and not impede it, stating that SON would not allow any dubious business persons to destroy lives, property and scarce resources.
He therefore craved the indulgence of the steel industry to cooperate with SON so that wealth and value can be created without infractions. “if you work with me I work with you, but if you work against me the law will be upheld to the later”
Salim also disclosed that after the expiration of the three months moratorium to dealers in steel, the agency will commence full scale enforcement, mopping of substandard steel in factories and markets and if found culpable prosecutions will be effected immediately.