The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has partnered the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) on information sharing management to combat the over 90 per cent of fake and substandard products finding their way into the nation through its ports and unmanned routes and borders.
The standards body said this move was to take the agency’s effort to another level by expanding its net by partnering with its sister bodies to tackle the preponderance of substandard goods in the country.
The Assistant Inspector General (AIG), Maritime Police Command, Mr. MuhammedKatsina, emphasised on the need for stronger collaboration to achieve a zero tolerance for substandard products.
Katsina during a courtesy visit of SON in Lagos, said: “The technicality of this event is very important and we are going to need the SON to achieve our mandate because they have the power to prosecute. I consider SON as a life partner and a dependable ally, a strategic partner to achieve our mandate to protect the maritime environment. We believe one agency cannot do it alone.
“The issue of substandard product is very worrisome when compared to other crimes we try to prevent as an agency of government. I am here today telling you as the AIG in charge of this to give a flourishing partnership. We are going to create a harmonious platform of understanding where there will be cross fertilization of ideas to carry you along with our daily activities to ensure that the environment is safe for everyone to operate.”
He said most of the unscrupulous people who deal in fake and substandard goods smile to the bank, stressing that he has an uncompromising standard in the pursuit of high ethical organisational excellence to ensure the partnership achieves its set goal.
Meanwhile, the NPF handed over a container stuck with spare parts and substandard tyres to SON for further investigations, saying that courtesy of its intelligence department, it intercepted the container, which he said came in from Dubai.
“I hope all of us are going to be on board to clean up this great country. The journey has started and all hands are on deck. We must all have respect for this country.
My office is open 24 hours of the day and we will also come to you at anytime for advice. We will refer matters relating to your area of jurisdiction to treat, prosecute and advice.
According to him, a container of fake and substandard goods cost a revenue loss of about N600 million which would have been used to develop other areas calling for development.
The Director, Compliance, SON, Engineer. Bede Obayi, said the collaboration was also to deepen the NPF in handling cases of all SON regulated products suspected to be fake and substandard in its custody, saying that the mandate to declare a product standard or substandard falls under the agency’s core values and responsibility.
He noted that the effect of fake and substandard products on the nation leads to loss of valuable revenue, non-performance of products n the various economic spheres when applied leading to reduction or stagnated economic performance.
He added that effect also includes bad consequences on local industries, loss of jobs and loss of lives and properties.
“Only a heart-to-heart collaboration between or organisations shall ensure that Nigerian consumers get value for their money spent on these goods in circulation. This will no doubt engender protection for our local industries and improvement of the national economy,” he said.
“Our visit today to the Assistant Inspector General (AIG) on maritime is another window of collaboration we have been getting from the police force. What we have seen is a man who is ready to move the country to the next level and also to ensure that substandard products are reduced to the barest minimum. We have also seen an ally who is ready to partner with us to ensure that the maritime sector is safe for everybody to operate to make Nigeria a safe heaven for every Nigerian to operate,” he added
On the seizure, by the intelligence support of the maritime operations of the NPF he said was very commendable, saying despite its awareness campaigns that Nigerians should not patronise fairly used tyres, unscrupulous dealers still persist in the nefarious act.
“We commend the NPF because they intercepted a container that has already left the port. Handling over this container for further investigations demonstrates their readiness to support us 100 per cent. SON by its act Number 14 of 2015 has that prosecutorial power to prosecute criminals and give justice to Nigerians. We are happy today with the level of collaboration exhibited today by the AIG maritime of the NPF whose intelligence report has led to the seizure of the container stuffed with substandard tyres.