The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) Thursday stated that stricter measures would be enforced on errant steel manufacturers who continue to deviate from the minimum requirement of the Nigeria Industrial Standards (NIS), noting that iron and steel products cannot afford to be toyed with considering the role they play in buildings in the country.
The State Coordinator, Lagos Office 3, SON, Mrs. Ngozi Ekweme, explained that the agency discovered that most local manufacturers continued to deviate from the accepted standards despite efforts of the agency to sanitise the nation’s steel industry.
“Now that we have found that these local manufacturers’ products pass the standards in their factories but do not meet the minimum requirements outside the factory, we will fish out the manufacturers with the markings of their products after which the errant manufacturer will pay heavily for producing iron rods below the minimum requirement of the standard,” she said.
Ekweme during an on-the-spot enforcement exercise to stores of some iron rod dealers in Lagos, said SON has been in the process of sanitising the iron and steel industry in Nigeria, maintaining that the country had been experiencing rampant building collapses as a result of substandard building materials used in constructing these collapsed buildings.
”Most of the time when SON goes to the factory for inspection, we find out that most of the rods local manufacturers produce conforms to the minimum requirement of the NIS, but we found out that buildings are still collapsing in the country, so as a result of this, the federal government has ordered SON to go out to carry out enforcement activities and we have decided to start from conducting market survey to find out the quality of iron and steel products supplied to dealers by manufacturers,” she said.
According to her, “Most of the dealers have opened up to say that when they visit the factory to buy their products, they sell iron rods that are not of standard. These dealers at the end of the day do not get patronised by engineers and construction companies. From some of the samples we have taken, we discovered that some of them are substandard in terms of the specified diameters and length when compared to the minimum requirement as stipulated by SON.
“We are taking them to our laboratory in Enugu to conduct our chemical analysis.”
The Managing Director, Oluwanishola Nigeria Investment Limited, Mr. Akomolafe Saka, commended SON for the exercise, urging the agency to continue with such initiatives to guard against building collapse in the country.
“They should not restrict this exercise to the steel industry, but in other sectors of the economy. This is a very good initiative and we are ready to support them all the way,” he said.
He complained that most dealers in the country do not enjoy patronage from construction companies due to the standard of the iron and steel rods locally produced, saying that these companies prefer importing steel rods to carry out their construction activities.
The Managing Director, Okiki Steel Limited, Mr. Omotayo Afariogun, said SON’s inspection exercise is a good move and a welcome idea to address substandard iron rods produced and imported into the country.
He said this move by SON will booster the confidence of dealers in the industry in terms of the quality, size and other parameters.