BY Naomi Uzor
Standards Organi sation of Nigeria (SON) is ransacking pavilions at the ongoing Enugu International Trade Fair,for substandard products.
Mr Bede Obayi, SON’s Director for Eastern Zone, who gave this hint, said that they are at the trade fair to enable the exhibitors have first hand information on the various standard parameters for most of the products and that most Small Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) always shy away from passing their products for analysis and basic parameters.
“We are here to educate and orientate the operators on why their products must conform with standards. The problem we have with most of the SME operators is their failure to present their products for test. They rather prefer to produce and put in the market, which is wrong,” Obayi said.
He said that SON had intensified campaign on quality products that meet the Nigeria Industrial Standards (NIS) and that would enable consumers get value for their money.
According to him, when you subject such products to test, it could even reduce the production cost and have a comparative niche and right pricing, and that SON was also conducting products survey at the trade fair to enable it identify products that were not properly labeled.
“We have a lot of products from this sector that could be assisted to meet standards for export, but poor labeling has denied SON’s efforts to assist the operators. With the good numbers of SMEs and manufacturers at the trade fair, it is a good opportunity to execute our mandate to assist the sector to thrive.
SON is concerned about the SMEs products that are largely in circulation but the operators are not willing to do the right thing. We want to assist them to grow but if they fail to do the right thing SON will no longer allow such products in the market.
Those that are not ready for change but continue to cheat to remain in business and flood the market with substandard products will be penalised,” he said.
He urged the exhibitors to take advantage of SON presence at the fair to abreast themselves of the latest technical advice about product standards.
On the issue of foreign exhibitors using trade fair as a window to dump substandard products in the country, he said that it was not possible because most of the products must pass the parameter test.
He urged the manufacturers and importers to adhere to Manufacturers Conformity Mandatory Programme (MANCAP) and SONCAP to rid the country of substandard products.