By Favour Nnabugwu
Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has threatened to shut manufacturers that fail to comply with the required product certification under its Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme, MANCAP.
The Director-General of SON, Dr Joseph Odumodu gave this warning in Abuja during the flag-off of “The Walk for Standards”, a roadshow programme to mark the 2014 World Standards Day. He said the agency has already commenced full implementation of MANCAP through its offices across the nation.
“I wish to use the occasion of World Standard Day 2014 to urge all local manufacturers and assemblies to cooperate in getting their products certified”. “The process is designed to assist them implement the requirements of relevant standards from raw materials to the finished products with a view to offering quality products that offer value for money to consumers”.
Represented by Mr. Nelson Adebiyi, Director (Operations), Odumodu explained that the MANCAP certification will also ensure that locally manufactured products are subjected to similar conformity processes similar to SONCAP, which is used for imported goods. He said this is to create a level playing field stated in the theme of the 2014 World Standard Day celebration.
He however, warned that the organisation that SON will not hesitate to shut down any firm that fails to comply while adding that the agency will continue to ensure that industrialists conformed to the MANCAP. “When we identify such defaulters, we close them down immediately. Once we confirm that the products are not up to the requirement of the standard, or the specification, we close them down immediately.
“If they are the cooperative types, we work with them; tell them what to do until they get it right. But if they are the ones that will want to remain recalcitrant, the law of the nation will deal with them,” Odumodu said.
He stated that SON had closed down some companies whose products posed health hazards to consumers, adding that the companies will only be reopened when they conform to MANCAP.
MANCAP was instituted by SON in 2006 as a standard measure, which requires all manufactured products in Nigeria to conform to the relevant Nigeria Industrial Standards prior to sales in the markets or export.
The scheme is aimed at protecting genuine manufacturers against unhealthy practices such as production of sub-standards products, faking and counterfeiting as well as unfair competition in trade. It provides consumers with confidence that products manufactured in the country are fit, safe and meet the intended use. It also ensures that the environment is free from unnecessary wastes and pollution.