James Emejo in Abuja
The newly appointed Director General/Chief Executive, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mr. Aboloma Anthony Osita on Tuesday hinted on measures to be deployed to salvage Nigerians from the menace of importation of substandard products, vowing to prosecute offenders going forward.
The proposed prosecution of importers and marketers of sub-standard products marks a new chapter in the agency’s fight against peddlers of inferior goods across the country.
He spoke in Abuja when he formally took over from his predecessor, Dr. Paul Anyga who had functioned in acting capacity since February.
Himself, a lawyer by profession, Osita described the menace of influx of sub-standard products as a dangerous trend both to the economy and human health and vowed he will be left with no choice than the prosecution of culprits in a landmark initiative.
He said: “We all understand the present mood of the government on change. We have to start the change from ourselves as ambassadors of SON. Influx of substandard goods is a disaster especially now that the present administration is very serious about diversifying the economy from oil to non-oil sector. This places a burden on SON and we have to be proactive. We can’t grow with influx of substandard goods. It’s not going to be business as usual. My administration will step up emphasis on prosecution. If you don’t prosecute, influx of fake goods will continue.”
Earlier, former acting DG had told his successor that the prevalence of fake products remained a bane in the economy.
He said: “One of the issues, is the prevalent of substandard products in Nigeria. There have been complaints from ministers, from the President about substandard products . Part of what we were trying to do, is to get Chinese government to sign MoU with SON as a way of fighting the scourge of influx of substandard products and they have shown serious commitment in this direction. We initiated products’ authentication and product sealing to detect substandard products.
“This is aimed at assisting consumers in identifying subsstandard products . The programme is half done and I know you will see it through . The campaign against used tyres which has resulted in loss of lives and high profile accidents is on . We engaged in huge campaign to sanitize the nation on adverse effect of used tyres.”
Angya also informed the new DG that agency staff in Lagos had no office as they had been ejected out from rented apartment.
He said:”We have challenging situation that must be addressed quickly. We been expelled from headquarters in Lagos by Raw Materials Research Development Council( RMRDC). That is an issue that may have to be addressed urgently.”