FG gives manufacturers, importers till Friday to register products
• SON task force to raid markets from June 5
Manufacturers and importers of all products sold in the country have been given till Friday this week to register them with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON).
The SON Director-General, Dr. Joseph Odumodu, disclosed this in Abuja, while setting up a special task force that has the brief to rid Nigerian markets of substandard products.
The task force, which SON established in conjunction with a private firm, Christabel International Company, is expected to kick-start its work in the markets within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and environs from June 5, 2013.
Noting that foreign manufacturers have turned Nigeria into a dumping ground for substandard products, especially electronic products, Odumodu lamented that series of dialogue sessions with the leadership of countries where the products originate from, on the dangers of such products to the lives of Nigerians, have been fruitless.
With the dearth of manufacturing companies, Nigeria, according to the SON boss, is undegoing de-industrialisation.
“80 per cent of products consumed in this country are imported from abroad, most of which come into Nigeria from Asia,” Odumodu said, adding that the campaign for zero tolerance for substandard products has now taken a new dimension, which, according to him, informed the theme of the crusade, Next level of campaign against substandard products.
“We are going to work in collaboration with Christabel International Company. During the campaign, we will visit all the markets in Abuja and we will ensure that we remove all the substandard products.
“We cannot condone sales of substandard products and those who we find such products in their possession will be arrested and prosecuted accordingly. A lot of people are dying and others are losing money due to substandard products,” Odumodu said.
Disclosing that Nigerians waste over N500 million on purchase of substandard electric bulbs annually, the SON boss said that energy-saving bulbs imported into the country barely last for two hours instead of the expected 1,000 hours.
“These bulbs come with heavy metal and there is no way to destroy them and when they are dumped inside the gutter, at the end of the day they find their ways into water,” Odumodu said, blaming the situation for the increased incidences of cancer in Nigeria.
Also speaking, the Managing Director of Christabel International Company, Christabel Okoye, said that the major challenge confronting Nigeria today is not that of Boko Haram sect, but the effect of substandard products on the country.
Describing the campaign against substandard products as total war, Okoye said that Nigeria is flooded with substandard products such as electric bulbs and electronics from China.
“We will comb all the markets in Nigeria to get rid of substandard products. The war against fake products is more than the Boko Haram war and we are determined to leave no stone unturned to achieve our aim,” she said.
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