DG, SON, Joseph Odumodu
The House of Representatives has promised to give the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) necessary legislative support in its crusade against substandard products in the country.
Chairman of the House Committee on Industries, Mohammed Ogoshi Onawo, gave the assurance in Abuja when he led members of the committee on a visit to the agency.
Onawo also commended SON for its activities in curbing the influx and effects of counterfeit and low-quality goods in the country. “We are going to give you every support you need to deliver your mandate,’’ he said,
He urged the organisation to embark on awareness campaigns that would educate the populace on the likely implications of purchasing substandard products. He said this would enable consumers to identify and avoid substandard products.
The Director-General of SON, Joseph Odumodu, had earlier solicited for a legal framework to enable the organisation to carry out effective enforcement. Odumodu said lack of a strong legal structure had not allowed the agency to prosecute the manufacturers, importers or distributors of fake and substandard products in the country.
The director-general acknowledged government’s interest in improving the economy through the check of substandard products. More funding would however help improve the organisation’s activities, he said, adding that it required N10 billion for the first phase of modern laboratory facilities to fast-track its operations.
He said that 80 per cent of the fake products that comes into Nigeria were coming from Asia with China been the major culprits.
He explained that because of the level of influx of fake products from China, they had a meeting with the Chinese standards organisation that supervise imports and exports but they were not supportive.
“Infact, they were very hostile to us because at the end of the day what we were asking for was not what they were saying. At a time they pretended that they no longer understood English language just to make sure that the discussion was terminated. But we made our point clear that we have the right to fight for the safety and performance of products that are brought to Nigeria”, the SON boss added.