BY NAOMI UZOR
The Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has urged importers to adhere to importation guidelines so as to boost local manufacturers’ competiveness.
Speaking in Lagos , the Director General of SON, Dr Joseph Odumodu, said the adherence would enhance the country’s industrial growth and that the resulting healthy competition would encourage industries to thrive and enable new ones to come on board.
According to him, the influx of substandard goods was partly responsible for the closure of most companies in the country and that SON has adopted several measures that will ensure zero tolerance of substandard goods in the country.
On SON efforts to ensure quick clearance of goods at the ports, he said that SON would relocate part of it testing equipment to Apapa.
“We are going to relocate our testing equipment to Apapa to handle items that are not life threatening. This is in contrast to the initial agreement where importers have to come to SON office at Lekki for such test,” he said.
He disclosed that SON was willing to partner with major markets and importers’ groups that would guarantee pre-release of their members’ goods before test.
“Such leaders will be held responsible for such goods that eventually failed the test,” he said.
He emphasised that the organisation had given enough concession to traders to remove their goods from the ports before Aug. 15.
“The goods we are asking importers to remove are products that cannot cause either death, harm to life, among others,” he said.
Odumodu said that the laws that check standards had been on for 11 years and urged importers to follow the guidelines that would lead to the transformation of the sector, adding that the changes could cause little delays now but the country would be better for it in the long run.
“What we are advising our importers to do is to pay the penalty or deposits and move their containers out of the ports. We do not want to take the goods to our warehouses; we want the importers to take the goods to their warehouses because we do not want anybody to keep goods at the ports. So, the importers should pay the penalty and the deposit while we take some samples for test and within one week, your products are ready for sale or destruction,” he said.
He said the nation’s industralisation vision could be achieved, if the problem of substandard products was tackled and that businessmen would make more revenue if they insist on importing genuine products.