The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), has yet again destroyed seized items which were found to be substandard products recently at the agency’s warehouse in Lagos.
The Director General SON, Mallam Farouk Salim who Supervised the destruction along side his officers said that the implications of the continuous importation of fake and substandard products in Nigeria are grave, horrendous and is inexplicable.
“It’s the reason why we do not have so many industries to produce what we want, it is the same reason why we have thousands of graduates who are unemployed. It is attributable to why the crime rate is where it is today, the same reason why those who cannot be engaged by the non existent factories find outlet in separatist ideas, the banditary and so on. This also why you cannot drive your cars on smooth roads because the factories are not there to pay taxes to the government who will build roads with them, that’s why we do not have good schools to send our kids to, because some of these people who enjoyed free and quality education made possible by taxes paid by manufacturers back then but have refused to build factories and instead choose to engage in substandard and fake products import.
So we are here to destroy these goods that we consider dangerous and harmful to our people. Without exaggerating, their values, there are at least over a thousand Tyres being destroyed, more than 20,000 Roofing sheets, over half a million little containers of engine oil. So if you add their values, it runs into billions of Naira but the value is useless because these products are substandard, their value is poison, you cannot put a value on poison,” Salim stated.
Continuing he revealed that these products were seized from different places, at the market places and elsewhere but “we don’t have the ability to grab them in the port due to restriction. So essentially what our brave and hard working officers do is to go after these people based on intelligence and mind you, we put all these through laboratory test because every product has its own standard. It’s only when they have failed these test that SON destroys them for safety but you must get the consent of the courts to destroy any seized product,” Salim said.
Some of the confiscated items which were destroyed even as Journalists and other stakeholders were conducted round the seizures, are: heaps of Tyres, substandard cables, faked Lubricants labelled as Total quartz and Ridias SAE40.
Others are: Gas Cylinders, Cartons of expired MODENG Cigarettes, Bundles of Roofing Sheets (long and short span), newly printed Cartons and empty Containers intended for packaging fake Maris Gold Oil.
Some stakeholders who spoke during this destruction were optimistic that SON is doing very well, taking the fight against fake and substandard products to the importers .
NESREA’s Assistant Chief Scientific officer, Lagos Liaison officer, Bisiriyu Adesewa commended SON for it’s heightened war against dangerous imports, she also called on those who engage in this criminal act to desist and look elsewhere.
Mrs Bisiriyu said these fake and substandard products are not only harmful to the society but can have adverse effects on the health and well-being of Nigerians. She however noted that some of these products are still useful and can be of economic value to the nation as they can be recycled for other uses.
Speaking earlier, the Chief Operations Officer (COO) MICOM Cables & Wires and the President, Cable Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (CAMAN), Mrs. Bukola Adubi commended SON for being alive to its responsibility of trying to rid the markets of fake and substandard products, especially cables as MICOM and the Association of Cable manufacturers are directly concerned.
” My visit here today has been an eye-opener to say the least. We have been having several conversations with SON about how to stop this menace in the society, because for a lot of us in CAMAN, we are legacy compliant, we have been in the business for decades. MICOM for instance, has been here for 40years and counting and we know the problem this adulteration, substandard and faking is giving to the country and even to our brands; because I can even see one of our brands labelled here right before my eyes. You can imagine the adverse effect it will have, if one of our customers mistakenly bought this one taking it for the original ones we manufacture and it results into fire outbreak, just imagine the disastrous effect,” she lamented.
Continuing, Adubi said some “companies have erroneously been blacklisted because of the activities of these fakers and substandard product importers, this is affecting our legacy, our brands and our bottom line. So coming here today to see what SON is doing is very very heartwarming, I am very happy and I can go home and comfortably tell our people that SON has our back. Also, that the menace given sometime, we will see an end to it and this is all we are asking for because the public is unaware. They are uneducated, they don’t know, they don’t understand the difference between these products and then, they use them in their homes and we hear fire! fire!! fire!!! It’s bad for the economy, it’s bad for business, it’s just wicked. So I and the rest of my members are totally indebted to Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), for the job they are doing,” Adubi said.
Furthermore, the DG SON, advised Nigerians to plough back their profits into profitable ventures like building factories for manufacturing quality products which are beneficial to the Locals “and they will be very happy with you and your children and when you go the Church you will be given a seat in the front roll, at the mosque you will be given the chance to speak to the people, you are well respected everywhere you turn, these are the things that Nigerians are missing, we need to know that decency, hard work are rewarded.