Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Friday, took on the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) for accusing it (NCS) aiding and abetting the importation of fake and substandard goods into Nigeria.
In a statement by its Public relations Officer, Mr. Timi Bomodi, Customs did not only deny the accusation but claimed SON was envying it for its achievements.
The statement read in part, “The attention of the Nigeria Customs Service has been drawn to news reports where the Director General/Chief Executive of Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), Mal. Farouk Salim, was attributed to have flayed Customs over the smuggling of fake and substandard goods out of the nation’s seaports.
“In the statement he was credited to have accused the Service of being responsible for revenue losses, the preponderance of fake and substandard products, and alluded that officials of SON were routinely excluded from joint examinations by officers of the NCS. We want to state that the allegations are untrue.
“The Nigeria Customs Service fully cognizant that strategic cooperation among security and regulatory agencies lies at the heart of national security willfully works in tandem with other security and regulatory agencies including SON to achieve national goals.
“Under the Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System (NICIS II), SON and other regulatory agencies of government are linked directly and frequently make inputs in reference to items of significance to their operations.
“At no time has NCS refused to oblige them with any request. – Indeed the Nigeria Customs Service even without intervention from SON on its own directs suspicious items bordering on brand and intellectual property rights infringements to them.
“There exists open channels of communication between officials of SON and NCS Area Commands should the need arise for clarifications or interventions.
“Therefore this statement ascribed to the DG creates a totally false narrative and is viewed as an attempt to portray the NCS in a negative light.
“It is questionable, raises serious concerns and calls for scrutiny by discerning members of the public. It is also self-condemning, regrettable and exposes SON as being incapable of living up to its mandate.
“If after issuing certificates, participating in examinations, taking samples for further investigations and authorizing release to the NCS, substandard goods find their way into the open market the DG SON should look inwards.
“While success is said to breed opposition, the success of the NCS is not achieved by tarnishing the image of another agency just to look good or score cheap points.”