Vows to prosecute erring importers
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has seized two containers loaded with substandard energy saving bulbs, noting that this move by the agency is coming on the heels of its zero tolerance for substandard products, while also safeguarding lives and property in the country.
The Director, Inspectorate and Compliance, Bede Obayi, explained that the importers of these substandard energy saving bulbs are out to cheat the unsuspecting Nigerian consumers, maintaining that after carrying out series of laboratory tests on the bulbs displaying 85watts capacity, the agency discovered that the bulbs could only do 25 watts representing less than 30 per cent of the rated value of the bulbs.
Obayi expressed concerns over the continuous unscrupulous activities by these not well-meaning importers, saying that the agency under its new leadership of Aboloma Osita, is out to safeguard and protect the lives of innocent Nigerians in the country.
He, however, stated that courtesy of its new Act of 2015, has given the agency prosecutorial powers to prosecute erring importers of fake and substandard goods, saying that this would serve as a deterrent to other importers who engage in the illicit trade.
“Our new act has given us prosecutorial powers to prosecute. This is why the new the Director General has said that under his watch, prosecution of these erring importers must be a priority. This will serve as a deterrent to other importers of fake and substandard goods in the country to desist from the nefarious act. The act is out there to protect Nigerians. SON is out to say enough is enough to economic sabotage,” he added.
In his words, “We have two brands of energy saving bulbs whose names are ART and Tonobo bulbs. The two containers of these bulbs were intercepted by our men who are policing thehighways and our intelligent officers at the port who alert our enforcement officers whenever they suspect a container.
These bulbs are rated 85 watts, but when we took samples of these bulbs to our laboratory for testing, we discovered that they are only 25 watts which is less than 30 per cent of the rated value of the bulb. The unsuspecting Nigerian consumers are buying these bulbs thinking it is 85 watts not knowing it is just 25 watts. This is not acceptable by SON, especially under the new leadership of the Director General of SON, Dr. Aboloma Osita, who does not accept substandard in any way to come into the country.”
He restated the agency’s commitment to combating the influx of fake and substandard goods into the country, adding that there will be no hiding place for importers who still indulge in the act of short changing Nigerians of their hard earned money.
“Anywhere we have information about substandard products in the country, we will go after it. We are determined to bring down the level of substandard products in circulation to the barest minimum and if possible, total eradication,” he said.
According to him, “When we finished the test, we discovered that these bulbs are far below the rated value and we also evacuated four extra trucks of these bulbs we got from the warehouse where these bulbs were kept. All our state offices are alert to go after these bulbs wherever we see them and when we see them, we destroy them to prevent them from getting into our markets. We cannot allow consumers of this country to be cheated. We have said that if you are selling 85 watts, the bulbs must show 85watts when we do our test, but if this is otherwise, it means you are cheating the consumers. Enough is enough for these wrong labellings and cheating of consumers.”