By FRANKLIN ALLI
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON, has accused Chinese businesses of consistently violating the country’s quality standards and environment laws by bringing substandard products into the country.
Engr. Bede Obayi, Head of SON Enforcement Team, stated this in Lagos, when the agency raided, evacuated and sealed off a Chinese factory for assembling and warehousing different brands of handsets.
The team also arrested three Chinese nationals on duty and handed them over to Police Criminal Investigation Department, for prosecution. The factory is situated in a residential building at Ogunmodede Street, off Allen Avenue in Lagos.
Products evacuated from the factory to SON’s warehouse at Ogba Industrial Estate, include MBO Mobile Technology, G. Best, lithium battery, among other brands.
“We are sealing off the factory and arresting these Chinese and handing them over to police for prosecution because they are killing the Nigerian economy and the environment by bringing substandard hand sets into Nigeria and we can no longer tolerate it.”
He said, “We have said that after January 2014, any handsets in the market that has not been registered and certified will be removed from circulation. Every handset in Nigeria must be registered on our e-registration platform for us to know the quality and to know those who are behind it for traceability,” said Obayi.
“As you can see, the handsets are all assorted brands and there is no known company behind them; how do you know the manufacturers and the agents? SON doesn’t know anything about how they come into the country but we got a tip-off that they are being assembled here and pushed into the markets. Where these Chinese are living is where they are assembling them. They are low quality hand sets and these Chinese are not doing the business in the right way,” he noted.
Fielding question on whether SON would arrest the landlord of the affected building, Obayi, replied, “We are not arresting the landlord because the building remains; we are only sealing off the building until further directives come from the Director General.
“Let me use this opportunity to enjoin every landlord in this country to know their tenants and what they do.
If somebody comes to hire your apartment, if it is a living room, don’t allow it to be turned into what you don’t even know and when an agency of government comes, you become bewildered and you claim ignorance of what they are doing; you should from time to time check what they are doing.”
In response, the Chairman of the landlords’ Association (name withheld) assured the agency, “We are going to take it up from here.”