The Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON, has stated that, henceforth importers of fake and unwholesome products will be responsible for the cost incurred for destruction of sub-standard products that imported into the country.
The Director-General of SON, Dr. Joseph Odumodu, stated this in Lagos at the weekend at a stakeholders’ meeting with the Auto Spare Part Machinery and Dealers Association, ASPMDA, Balogun Traders Association and Progressive Traders Association
Besides, Odumodu said henceforth products that failed to meet the Standards Organisation of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP) requirement will be destroyed and the penalty paid by the importer of the sub-standard products.
He noted that destruction of sub-standard goods cost a lot of money, adding that government would no longer condone the unpatriotic act of some unscrupulous importers who are bent on denting the reputation of the country.
The SON boss noted that besides a product meeting the SONCAP requirement, importers would equally be made to deposit N500,000 pending the outcome of the test of the products, and another N500,000 penalty for importing sub-standard products.
“If eventually the products fail the test, the money will be used to destroy the products, while if it is the reverse, the money will be released to the importer,” he said.“The ultimatum given to importers to get rid of sub-standard products by May 31 is a clear indication of SON’s zero tolerance strategy for sub-standard products.
“We are working assiduously to make sure that only quality products will be sold in our markets,” he said.
He said the relevant Federal Government agencies have formed synergy to tackle the influx of substandard products into the country.
He, however, commended ASPMDA for its unrelenting effort in tackling the influx of sub-standard auto spare parts into the country. while also urging similar associations to emulate ASPMDA, noting that this remained the only way to bring about an end to the influx of substandard products into the Nigerian market. Also speaking, the Director General, Consumer Protection Council (CPC), Mrs. Ify Umenyi said that Nigerian consumers have suffered enough from the effects of substandard products, stressing that; substandard products contravenes human rights to safety.
She commended the Director General of SON for the zero tolerance strategy, saying that it would go a long way in tackling the problems often associated with the influx of substandard goods.
“SON must ensure that products are safe for consumption. CPC will equally ensure that consumers have value for their money,” she said. The president of Progressive Traders Association, Mr. Jude Okeke argued that Nigerian ports are the major culprits in this crime, explaining that there is a need for the Federal Government to train, retrain and recruit highly skilled personnel at the port.
“This is the first time we are having such a meeting with a regulatory agency, each time these products go in flames, billions of naira is being wasted. We believe the time is now and we are ready to work with all government agencies in this regard,” he said. According to him, the association is going to partner with SON in giving tips and channels to achieve the zero tolerance strategy being currently practiced by SON.