The Acting Director-General of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Dr Paul Angya, has given reasons why the agency’s standard enforcers have resorted to chasing trailers and containers on the highways rather than other less risky methods of enforcing standards.
Angya who was speaking to stakeholders in the nations’ maritime sector at a forum in Lagos, said the reason is because, contrary to general impression, the SON had long been sent out of the nation’s ports, and had no alternative than to seek other ways of carrying out its statutory functions.
‘’As I speak to you, SON is not at the ports. SON can only go the ports at the invitation of the Customs. We are begging to be allowed to come to the ports to do our jobs, but we cannot force our way into the ports.”
Angya said that result of the current position of things is that up to 60 per cent of the containers that arrive the nation’s waters leave the ports without inspection by the SON, with obviously negative implications.
Angya saiD: ”Put us at the ports, we will hold unscrupulous importers. SON was removed from the ports to facilitate trade but that trade is killing Nigeria and Nigerians now.
“We can’t continue like this. Our young ones can’t get jobs because there are no manufacturing companies. Our manufacturers have gone to China and other places.”
According to him, the Comptroller of Customs has however been receptive of SON’s initiatives for a collaborative way of policing the ports more effectively, adding that modalities for that had already been established in the course of recent meetings and deliberations.