SON DG, Joseph Odumodu
Lubricant Producers Association of Nigeria (LUPAN) has called on the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to urgently address the malaise of substandard and adulterated products which flood the market.
On a recent visit to the SON Lagos office, a LUPAN team, led by the Vice Chairman, Alhaji Ado Mustapha Muhammed, said the rate at which adulterated and fake lubricant products are being peddled in the Nigerian market portends danger for development.
According to them, this negative trend in the wake of President Goodluck Jonathan’s much-touted local content agenda, signals danger to users, the nation’s economy and could cripple the local industry if urgent steps are not taken to arrest the disturbing trend.
In his address, Muhammed who is also Chairman/CEO Ammasco Oil, expressed the desire to partner the regulatory body to tackle the trend, which, according to him, would only run down the nation’s economy. He said they are geared to fight as their members are losing heavily to the perpetuators of this dastardly act.
He said, “Apart from investing heavily in state-of-the-art factories as well as in research and development, our members are high employers of labour and as such are ready to partner SON in all fronts to ensure sanitisation of the market, to ensure that it is devoid of substandard, fake and adulterated products.”
Expressing confidence in the SON’s leadership to bring sanity to the oil lubricant market, Muhammed called on the Federal Government to review downward the high import duty on base oil, which is the chief raw material for the production of lubricants.
According to him, a downward review of duty to five per cent would encourage genuine local production in the nation’s quest to industrialisation, local content propagation and self reliance.
In the same vein, he reiterated the need for the federal government to raise the existing tariff regime on imported lubricants to 50 per cent in order to discourage importation and protect local industries.
Also speaking, LUPAN Executive Secretary, Mr. Emeka Obidike, said their concern stems from the fact that leaving things the way they are would spell doom for the lubricant industry. He said: “The indiscriminate importation of substandard lubricants and adulteration of member’s products is a threat to the lubricant industry and currently there are over 40 of such products in the market.
“This has led to economic loss to consumers of such unwholesome products which most often result in frequent breakdown of machineries, environmental pollution as well as undue competition for local producers as they come very cheap to unsuspecting customers. These are some of the challenges LUPAN members are currently facing and we therefore call on SON to checkmate the trend.”
In response, the Director General (DG) of SON, Mr. Joseph Odumodu, allayed the visiting team’s fears, adding that SON was embarking on registration of all products including oil lubricants in the market within the next few months.
He said this is part of deliberate measures to sanitise the market, to ensure standards are adhered to by manufacturers and that consumers have value for their money. According to him, the nation’s economy was being threatened by the twin problems of fake/ substandard and adulterated products, whether they are imported or produced locally.