SON DG, Joseph Odumodu
By Crusoe Osagie
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) is poised to begin a scientific validation and testing exercise on electronic products in order to ensure that electronic products meet the minimum standards for safety and performance in the country.
The Director General, SON, Dr. Joseph Oumodu, explained that there have been lots of issues concerning the quality of electronic products in the nation. He stated this while addressing the media during SON’s inspection exercise to Fouani Nigeria Limited, makers of LG products, in Lagos.
Odumodu stressed the need to set up a stronger collaboration between SON and the electronic manufacturers, saying that the ultimate goal is to ensure consumers’ safety and value for money spent.
“Today, I have learnt that every LG Television set, and some of the refrigerators and air conditioners are assembled here in Apapa, Lagos. This also helps us in achieving our objectives because we now know the kind of questions and the features to look out for in these products,” he said.
He added that recently, LG launched a new product classified as LG anti-mosquito air conditioner, which claims to knock down mosquitoes, with no side effect on human health.
He pointed out the need to set up a parallel laboratory in SON to test and validate this claim, saying that in the next four months, SON would start testing for scientific validation not only for mosquitoes, but also to test other electronic products in the Nigerian market.
“We will continue to work with you to ensure that the Nigerian consumers are not shortchanged using products that do not meet the minimum standards for safety and performance in their homes,” he said.
“We will come again because I have seen your assembly plants and I am also looking forward in the next two years to see Nigeria making the compressors, condensers and what have you, because this is the real manufacturing we need,” he added.
He commended the efforts of Fouani Nigeria Limited, saying that their activities are classical cases of backward integration, and maintained that the company had been successful in building human capacity and equipping young Nigerians with skills in assembling electronic products.
Earlier on, the Managing Director, Fouani Nigeria Limited, Mr. Mohammed Fouani, said the production line of the company has equipped Nigerians with technical skills, and that occasionally, engineers from China come into the country to train its employees.
“I think what is important here is how to make local component in Nigeria so that we do everything from A to Z in this country because this the only way the manufacturing sector can grow," he said.
According to him, this is a major challenge in the country and urged the Federal Government to give support to the manufacturing sector in the country in order to boost the sector. He pointed out that the factory is the biggest in Nigeria, adding that in 2014, the company would launch its new factory, which would be the biggest in Africa.
He noted that its anti-mosquito air conditioner has been tested in two universities in Indonesia, Malaysia and Ibadan to monitor the air conditioner to see if it has any impact on human lives. “This project had undergone a 14-month supervision and we are coming out to say the product is good and ready for use anytime, any day,” he said.
He said throughout the year, the company has enjoyed a direct relationship with SON adding that this is the first time the Director General will be visiting in order to access its assembly plants.