The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has destroyed fake and substandard products valued at over N450 million, in a move to prevent access to such items in the markets and discourage activities of importers of such products.
The Director-General, (SON), Osita Aboloma, vowed that SON will not relent in its fight against fake and substandard goods, stressing that the products were intercepted and impounded by the agencyâ€™s compliance and enforcement team located at various points across the country particularly in Lagos.
Aboloma during the destruction exercise yesterday, which took place at the
agency’s dumpsite in Epe, Lagos State, told THISDAY, that substandard goods â€Žare dangerous to lives, properties and the nationâ€™s economic health, and called on all stakeholders including the media to join in the campaign to get rid of such products wherever they exist in the country.
“We are destroying these substandard products worth over N450 million. These products have been labelled substandard after we carried out due diligence and conformity assessment to requisite standards on them,” he said.
According to him, the products failed the conformity and integrity tests, maintaining that the decision to destroy them was to save lives
and property of Nigerians who may fall prey to these killer-products if allowed to circulate.
“The substandard products we are destroying today ranges from bulbs, cables, tyres, shaving sticks and aluminum coils among others. We decided to perform the destruction exercise on two sites-Ogba and Epe.
We are destroying especially the expired tyres and bad aluminium coils at ourâ€Ž Ogba warehouse. The tyres and coils require specialised mechanical equipment as well as special handling for their destruction
as their particles could be recycled and useful for other industrial purposes,” the Director General added.
He noted that the destruction is a clear signal to all and sundry particularly purveyors, importers and dealers in fake and substandard products that Nigeria is no longer a dumping ground for substandard products.
“SON is ever ready to clean the markets and the Nigerian environment of substandard products. We will continue to impound and destroy such products and go after their importers, manufacturers and dealers in accordance with the provisions of SON Act 14 of 2015,” he assured.
He added: â€œThis is one of the ways to protect the Nigerian economy to allow local industries to thrive. We insist that Nigeria will never be a dumping ground for substandard products from any part of the world.â€Ž”
â€¦ Urges Companies to Adopt Environmentally-friendly Policies
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has urged companies, especially manufacturers, to adopt policies and practices that protect and sustain the environment.
Speaking at the ISO 14001:12 sensitisation programme held in Lagos on Tuesday, Executive Trainer, SON, said adoption of globally accepted environmental practices or standards not only improved business efficiency but also increased profitability.
â€œEnvironmental management is necessary because each ton of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4,000 kilowatts of energy and 7,000 gallons of water. Again, every time a ton of steel is recycled, it means 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,000 pounds of coal, and 40 pounds of limestone will not have to be mined from the earth,â€ Abna said at the event, which brought together representatives of manufacturing firms in Nigeria.
According to him, it was important for Nigerian manufacturers to adopt and implement the globally accepted ISO 14001:2015 framework, as it provided a framework for holistic and strategic approach to an organisationâ€™s environmental policy, plans and actions.
â€œThe benefits of implementing the ISO 14001:2015 framework include increased efficiency in the use of energy and resources and reduction in waste outputs,â€ he stated.
He regretted that 20 percent of worldâ€™s people lacked access to safe water supply when many Nigerians allowed drips from faucets, which could waste up to 50 gallons of water every day, enough to run a
â€œThere is so much air, water and soil pollution going on, owing to our activities. We are taking in a lot of fumes and heavy metals in a mega city like Lagos. The gases are supposed to churn out carbon monoxide
for trees so that they can give us oxygen to breathe but there is always a lot of mixtures with the carbon monoxide,â€ he said.
â€œThis is why you hear people suffering from all forms of cancer. If you breathe the air in Lagos and go to another city and breathes its air, you will most certainly notice the difference,â€ he stated. He said the biggest solution to challenges facing the environment was an adoption of sound environmental management system (EMS), defined as a system put in place that kept things running smoothly.
He identified low commitment to implementation of environmental laws, conflict among the federal/state/local governments due to overlapping functions, obsolete laws, economic sabotage, and low technological advancement as major challenges frustrating effective environmental protection in Nigeria.
â€œIf we all decide to recycle the papers we use, the impact of the environment will be enormous. Nigeria is sitting on trillion cubics of gas but we refuse to harness them and rather prefer to cut down trees as firewood,â€ he said.
He added importation of substandard products into the country was also environmentally-unfriendly as most of those items found their way into the streets since they were not durable.