Dealers in substandard and adulterated products have been described as practising a form of terrorism in view of the danger their activities pose to the security of lives and property of Nigerians.
The Director General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria, Mr. Osita Aboloma, made this assertion at a public sensitisation workshop organised for over 3,000 manufacturers, importers, distributors, retailers and market associations by Christabel International, a non-governmental organisation on consumer advocacy in Onitsha, Anambra State recently.
According to him, the supply of substandard or adulterated auto and aviation spare parts, medical devices, construction materials, food and drugs among others pose serious threat to the health, safety, environment, property and lives of the citizens.
Represented by the Director of Operations, Mr. Felix Nyado, the SON chief executive stated that the negative impact of substandard or adulterated products to life and the socio-economic wellbeing of the country is very significant and needs effective prevention mechanisms.
Aboloma enumerated some of the electronic platforms being deployed by SON to tackle the menace of substandard products circulation as including the mandatory conformity assessment programme (MANCAP) for locally manufactured products; SONCAP, for certification of imported products from source; Product Registration for documentation and traceability of all products in the market and Library services for access to relevant standards for local production import and export with ease among others.
According to him, SON is the National Enquiry Point for World Trade Organisation/Technical Barrier to Trade for accessing information to identify relevant standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures for businesses in Nigeria.
The SON Chief Executive announced the recent deployment of standards on e-marketing for products traded on the web as well as the adaption of the Global Standard (GS) solutions by the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) to counter the growing issue of counterfeiting. The solutions, according to him will provide unique identification keys to manufacturers and businesses that will help improve collaboration, traceability, transparency, security and visibility within the supply chain in real-time.
Aboloma itemised the expectations of SON from manufacturers, importers, distributors, retailers and market associations in the “war against substandard and adulterated products” as including strict adherence to standards requirements, provision of classified information of faking and preparedness to defend their brands at all times.
Responding, the chairmen of the various market associations present at the occasion assured SON of their total support and pledged to imbibe self-regulation mechanisms with SON’s guidance to rid their markets of substandard and harmful products.
They said the current SON boss’ agenda was in the right direction that would help to boost healthy trade.