The Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) has urged electronic dealers at the Alaba International Market to venture into manufacturing to create wealth and employment instead of importing and faking known certified products.
Director General of SON, Osita Aboloma, who gave the advice at a sensitization workshop organized for the electronic dealers association in Lagos on Tuesday, said counterfeiting and faking of certified products remains one of the major challenges faced by the agency, warning that the use of SON logo without its authorization is illegal and unacceptable.
Represented by the Director in the DG’s office, Kabiru Muhammed, Aboloma urged the traders to embrace self regulation and assist SON to ensure that only products that meet the standard requirements are only allowed into the market.
He said, “We want to encourage the traders to be regulating themselves because we don’t have to be coming to the market by ourselves. We also want to encourage them to start bringing in their product in Completely Knockdown (CKD) and Semi Knockdown (SKD) so that they will start assembling them here and with time, they will start branding them with their own names and through that encourage more employment and revenue generation and government will also support them.
“We must protect the business of genuine importers and traders by eradicating sub standards products in the markets and ensure that Nigerians get value for the money spent on electronics. It is our responsibility to ensure that the electronic products in our markets are safe to use. The electronic market in Alaba is reportedly the largest electronic market in the West Africa if not in Africa. It would therefore be a thing of joy if this market is noted for only good and quality products.”
Aboloma said a joint task force comprising of SON’s official and the Alaba International market traders have been constituted and would be inaugurated soon to help sanitize the market and ensure that only products that meets the requirement of the standard are sold in the market.
Also speaking, Director, Inspectorate and Compliance, Obiora Manafa urged the traders to create their own brands, noting that many of the products sold in the markets are sub substandard as many of them failed safety test and market requirement.
He said, “From our experience here, we discover that many of the traders here imports substandard products. Some of the products fail performance, safety test and market requirement. Most of them bring goods oftentimes unbranded and anybody bringing unbranded products has an intention of faking. So we are here to tell them to do the right thing by looking inwards and start producing these things locally in Nigeria instead of always importing.”
Warning that SON would continue to impound and destroy sub standard products, Manafa reiterated the need for the government to return the agency to the port as that, according to him, is the only way to check importation of substandard and fake products.
Earlier, Chairman, Alaba International Market Association, Electronics Section, Paulinus Ugochukwu, said the leadership of the association has taken and still putting measures in place in ensuring that the market, which he said is the biggest single electronics market in Africa is known for standard and genuine products.
While commending the efforts of SON for several policies it has introduced to checkmate substandard products, Ugochukwu appealed to the agency for more time to enable some of his members who have commenced SONCAP registration to complete it.
This, he said, would encourage others who are yet to commence the process to come on board adding that a committee has been set up to work with SON to ensure compliance.
The Chairman also urged the Federal government to consider reopening the land borders for genuine traders and goods.
“I wish to appeal to the Federal Government to reconsider the reopening of our borders to other African countries as there are several genuine business men and women especially in a market like ours that transact and do businesses legitimately and have customers in other African countries,” he said.