The Director-General of Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Dr. Joseph Odumodu, has said the fight against sub-standard and fake products in the country will be better tackled with the creation of a special high court that will try importers engaged in such activities.
He said though the country has lots of laws meant to deal with those who bring in fake and sub-standard products, a special court will be of great help in the fight against fake products in the country.
Speaking with reporters in Lagos, during a review meeting with International Accredited Firms (IAFs), the SON boss said, “We have enough laws to jail those importers, what I am also lobbying for now is to have a special court, a federal high court that will handle these cases expeditiously, because when people see that it is not going to take five years, but two months to get cases done with, they will have to think twice.”
While revealing that SON is working with the Chinese government on how to reduce importation of fake products into the country, Odumodu said they are working on product liability and repatriation. He said: “In the last four years, SON has entered into agreement with the Chinese Government, which never happened but there is a renewed commitment coming from the Chinese government, but we need to see this in action.”
He stressed that such agreement will actually help SON to clean up the market of fake products.
“If I walk into a shop to get a product and it is substandard, it is the person who sold that product that has the liability and until we are able to trace the product to the original owner, the seller of that product will be in our custody.
“What we are also saying is that we are putting some responsibility on the retailers and wholesalers. We have told them to ask for documentation before buying a product because they need to protect themselves,” he said.
Odumodu added that SON’s system going forward must be evidence-driven.
“If you sell a product to someone and it does not work, you will pay. People should demand their rights. If you buy a product and it does not work, you must return the product and get your full value and if you do not get it, you have a right to respond. If you have a product in the market, it must be registered to enable us capture it into our database so that when the product fails to conform to standards, we will know where to trace it to,” he explained.
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