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FG vows to battle peddlers of Substandard products in Nigeria

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By Innocent Orok

The Federal Government has vowed to deal decisively with both foreign and local merchants of life threatening products in the country in other to stop their quest of making Nigeria a dumping ground for such goods

Government warns such fraudsters who produce and distribute substandard goods in the country to desist from their heinous acts, or face arrest and prosecution as the expanded Act of 2015 has given the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) the powers to arrest, confiscate such goods and prosecute offenders for violating the laws relating to standard of goods and services in the country.

Speaking at the official commissioning of SON’s office complex and laboratory in Ekiti State over the weekend, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo disclosed that the government is now more determined to fight such products and their peddlers to a standstill using modern technologies and world class infrastructures and laboratories.

Adebayo disclosed that before now, the Federal Government was pained that hundreds of thousands of Nigerian lives have been cut short as a result of substandard and life threatening products peddled around the country.
Such products the minister listed, includes poor steel and roofing sheets, adulterated lubricants, explosion from continuous usage of old and expired Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders, fire hazards from substandard electrical cables and retreaded vehicular tyres.

The Minister said, “SON has recorded significant achievements in the prosecution of offenders in the past years and more arrests and prosecution are on the way, especially for foreign nationals and their Nigerian collaborators who try to turn Nigeria into a dumping ground for substandard products.

“With such situation as expressed above, .the commissioning of SON building could not have come at a better time than now as this will not only expand the activities of the organization from the state capital to all Local Government Areas (LGAs), it will also reduce the cost and turnaround time for investments as against transporting product samples to SON laboratory facilities in Lagos and Enugu”,Adebayo stressed.

He further stated that the construction and the equipping of the Ekiti state edifice has in fact become a priority as the nation gradually and systematically march towards independence and self reliance from oil to non-oil exports for economic growth and development, emphasizing that no serious investor will engage in manufacturing of any product without checking for regulatory compliance to standards.

The minister further expressed FG’s appreciation to the efforts of Mallam Farouk Salim, Director General/CEO of SON whom he says has worked tirelessly to see to the timely completion of the office complex and laboratory in Ekiti State. While commending the organization for its initiative in signing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with State governments on the development of and growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country. He urged SON to ensure diligent implementation of the terms of the agreements.

In his welcome address at the occasion, the DG of SON, Mallam Farouk Salim stated that the commissioning of the Ekiti State permanent office and laboratory is in line with the agency’s new found vigor in fighting fake and substandard products in the country.
He expressed his delight over the feat, promising that SON is now more determined than ever to fight the menace of substandard products.

“In few weeks I took over the mantle of leadership at SON. I was confronted with a high level of infrastructural deficit which has limited the organisation’s operations. I also met ongoing office building projects around the country which had been embarked upon by the organisation to address the situation”

According to Farouk, SON is currently on the path of closing the infrastructural gaps identified with the wholesale completion of offices and /laboratory projects, arguing that the commissioning of such facilities is in line with the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) plan.

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