April 13, 2024

SON ineffective curbing circulation of substandard products – Union

SON ineffective curbing circulation of substandard products – Union

By Demola Akinyemi, Ilorin

The Iron Rod and Steel Distributors Employers Union of Nigeria (IRSDEUN) has called for the dissolution of the current management of Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), citing brazen concerns over the agency’s perceived ineffectiveness in curbing the circulation of substandard products in the Nigerian market.

The call is contained in a press statement signed by the National President of the Union, Chief Gbenga Awoyale, made available to Vanguard Correspondent in ilorin Saturday evening.

The union president expressed strong dissatisfaction with SON’s handling of substandard products, particularly in the iron rod and steel lindustry, stressing that despite existing regulations and quality control measures, substandard iron rods and steel continue to flood the market, posing serious risks to consumers and tarnishing the reputation of legitimate distributors.

He further said in the statement; “It is sad to note, that in connivance with some bad eggs in SON, substandard steel producers now fake trademarks and scaling disclosures. It is evident that SON has failed in its mandate to ensure that only products that meet the necessary quality standards are allowed into the market.

“Wires are now sold for iron rods and our steel qualities so poor. The proliferation of substandard iron rods not only poses safety hazards but also undermines the integrity of our industry”, Awoyale said.

He also said that,”The call for the dissolution of SON current leadership has raised questions about the agency’s effectiveness and oversight mechanisms. Critics argue that more deliberately, stringent and concerted measures by a firm and uncompromising team are needed to crack down on the production and distribution of substandard products, calling for thorough investigations and penalties for violators.

He added that,;“Severally, we have extended hands of fellowship to the SON leadership as distributors, to join hands with them in tackling the menace of substandard steel products.

” We have made our ways at the National Assembly which has made firm resolutions against substandard steel production but implementation of these efforts have become a mirage, as SON continues to act comfortably unperturbed even when the surge of building collapse continues to increase in Nigeria, claiming lives”, Awoyale stressed.

Following the call for the dissolution of the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), the union also emphasized the need for government intervention in regulating the price of iron rods and steel products, as the Naira exchange rate shows signs of significant improvement.

The union also took the opportunity to commend the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for its efforts in safeguarding the Naira against the persistent depreciation.

“While the Central Bank of Nigeria’s leadership under the governorship of Yemi Cardoso deserves a pat on the back for its efforts that has led to remarkable appreciation of our local currency, we call on the Federal Government to put in place price regulation mechanisms to ensure the far reaching effects of the Naira appreciation on average Nigerians.

“It is instructive to note that in January 2024, when the Naira-Dollar exchanged for about the same price as now, a ton of iron rod was about N500,000 until February when it increased by about N1million. Unfortunately, when the exchange rate returns to what it was before the price increase, tonnage price remains constant at about N1.5m while the quality continues to decline, leading to discrepancies and financial strain on distributors.

“This needs urgent attention by Federal and State Governments. Gluttonous elements who dont care about Nigerians’ comfort must not be allowed to thrive.”

“We particularly commend the CBN for its proactive measures to protect the Naira from continuous devaluation. We acknowledge the central bank’s efforts in maintaining exchange rate stability and minimizing the negative impact on the economy, especially in the face of global economic uncertainties.”Awoyale also said.

He added that the union’s dual demands for price regulation and acknowledgement of the CBN’s interventions underscore the complex challenges facing the iron rod industry in Nigeria., stressing that as discussions on these issues gain momentum, industry stakeholders are eagerly awaiting responses from relevant government bodies and policymakers on potential measures to address these concerns and foster a more stable and sustainable business environment for iron rod distributors.