Stakeholders in the electrical and electronic equipment segment of the Nigerian economy may have given their tacit support to measures by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to checkmate sub-standardisation in electrical appliances brought in or sold in the country.
This implies more stringent enforcement exercises and stiffer penalty for recalcitrant firms and individuals once the SON Council approves the recommendations of a technical committee, which reviewed the standardisation and labels for air-conditioners in the country.
The committee rounded off its two-day sitting in Lagos monday, and among its recommendations were the provision of 1-5 stars labelling model for air-conditioners in the country.
Not only would this checkmate the dumping of substandard electrical and related appliances and equipment in the country, it would also that only energy-efficient appliances are allowed in the country.
Though some representatives from private firms had argued tactically for shift in date for the commencement of enforcement against non-compliant equipment, the committee however favoured the superior arguments from the SON that further shift on the matter would mean endangering the lives of Nigerians the more, a harm on the economy as well as the Nigerian eco-system.
Mr. Richard Adewunmi, who presented the technical committee’s position stressed the importance of managing the little energy available in the country partly by shunning high energy consuming appliances, which were in any case, had been phased out in other countries.
He cited the trend in both European Union countries and the United States of America where energy consumption levels had reduced drastically by deliberate policy decisions, despite the availability of sufficient energy for the people, saying Nigeria should not afford to do otherwise.
“It is extremely important for us to set standards in energy consumption in the country thereafter enforcement would commence”, he informed, adding that the standards specifications for refrigerators once approved would be incorporated in the Standards Organisation of Nigeria conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP) as well as the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP).
The implication of the latest development is that henceforth, there would be labelling for appliances available for sale in the country, from one star to five depending on the energy efficiency level.
“Any appliance less than 2.0 will not be acceptable in the country. So, the more the star, the more energy efficient the appliance, but obviously, the more the cost”, he said, adding that the implication is that there won’t be space for tokunbo appliances which were produced without reference to the specifications.
Earlier, the Director-General of the SON, Dr. Paul Angya, who was represented by Mrs. Adebayo, described as herculean, the task of elaborating standards for appliances which the SON had been doing in collaboration with the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP), with funding from the European Union (EU), expressing the happiness that the journey was almost ending.
He said it had become imperative to have energy performance standards operative in Nigerian as it had been implemented already in about 84 countries of the world.
“I believe once approved, the SON would ensure the implementation. Already, equipment for the testing of refrigeration equipment has already been installed in SON. Installation for air conditioners will soon follow”, he added.
Head of Unit of Energy Efficiency of the NESP, Dr Charles Diarra said his agency was happy to collaborate with the SON and other agencies to ensure effectiveness of energy use as well as the effective performance of equipment in use in the country, adding that his agency had been involved in the training of energy managers in the country.
He said thus far, over 45 participants from about 20 countries had benefitted from his agency’s sponsored capacity building programmes and activities.
NESP’s planks of intervention according to him are in the areas of policy formulation and implementation, rural electrification, capacity development and political reform amongst others.
Other stakeholders who spoke at the event called for more and effective sensitisation of Nigerian appliances and energy consumers on the need to avoid waste and also to buy standardised products, which at the initial time may cost a little more, but on the long run would be more economically wise.
Based on the observation that value systems in Nigerian has been changing overtime, to the point that people no longer avail themselves of the conventional media where some of the critical information on equipment use are passed across, it became necessary to compliment conventional media information with social media communication.