By Franklin Alli
THE Galvanised Steel Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, GSMAN, has proposed the setting up of a joint task force by Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON, for policing operators in the industry.
This is sequel to recent moves by SON to clamp down on some producers in the sector who are undermining the required minimum standards for steel products as stipulated by the Organisation for the Nigerian market.
In a document obtained from GSMAN, its President, Dr. Frank Jacobs, said that SON should set up a Joint Task Force with the sub-sector to monitor the activities in the sub-sector. He added that the JTF should be jointly funded by SON and manufacturers in the sub-sector.
Recall that the Director-General of SON, Mr. Osita Aboloma, had warned operators in the sector to comply strictly to Nigeria Industrial Standards for steel products, or risk prosecution by the agency.
He said that there have been improvements in the area of adherence to standards, but added that some people, due to the prevailing recession, were now resorting to cutting corners. “Any company or individual caught would not only have their products confiscated, their premises would be sealed while they would be made to face the law,” he warned.
Speaking on the development, Managing Director of KAM Industries Nigeria Limited, Mr. Bola Awojobi, commended SON for its relentless efforts towards curbing the menace of substandard products. He said that the association members have always been committed to standards, and in obeying the rules set forth by SON.
“We are assuring SON that we will continue to comply and adhere strictly to SON standards, but the main issue that we have is the unscrupulous importers bringing in fake and substandard products into Nigeria. We have invested and we cannot jeopardise our investment. Our capacity in steel production is over a million tonnes and our market is in Nigeria, so we cannot risk our investment by producing substandard goods,” said Awojobi.