By Elizabeth Adegbesan
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) National Steel Task Force has sealed 13 steel factories across the country for standards infractions following nationwide market surveillance carried out by the Task Force between November 2019 and January 2020.
The Chairman, SON Task Force on Steel, Enebi Onucheyo, disclosed this saying that the sealed companies were located in Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Abia and Edo States.
Explaining the process of the surveillance, which led to the closure of the companies, Enebi said that samples of various steel products were obtained from the open market as well as the facilities of the companies and laboratory tests and analysis carried out on the samples revealed that most of them failed to meet the minimum requirements for 2 diameter2 and 2 mass per meter2 as provided in the Nigeria Industrial Standard (NIS 117:2004).
Enebi stated that given the SON classification of Steel Bars as life-endangering products, the Nigeria Industrial Standards provides for unique identification marks for every locally manufactured or imported steel bars for easy traceability.
He said the exercise followed earlier warnings to all the steel manufacturing companies on observed infractions with directives to ensure strict compliance with the requirements of the NIS 117:2004.
The task force chairman noted that during the excercise, some of the companies were found to have tampered with products earlier placed on hold by SON in their facilities while an unregistered identification mark “GE” was discovered in one of the products sampled.
He stressed that the exercise would be a continuous one in furtherance of the SON commitment to protect Nigerian consumers from the dangers associated with substandard and life-endangering products in view of the incessant collapse of buildings and structures across the country.
Enebi said the exercise is also aimed at ensuring that Nigerian consumers get optimum value for their hard earned money.
Commenting on the standards enforcement activity, Osita Aboloma, Director General, SON, reiterated the need to promote quality made-in-Nigeria products preparatory to the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).dumping into Nigerian Markets.