Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Substandard products worth over N4.5million were on Monday destroyed in Ekiti state by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria,Â (SON) for want of quality assurance and other factors.
The products burnt by the agency were fake and substandard tyres, expired supermarket products including breakfast cereals, packed snacks, detergents, soaps, wine including soft drinks and fruit juices.
Also burnt were electrical and electronic items such as television sets and cables as well as substandard LPG Cylinders.
The State Coordinator of SON in Ekiti, Mr. Ayeni Oyebola, said while supervising the exercise in Ado Ekiti that the items destroyed, were seized from distributors and sellers in different parts of the state
after they failed quality assurance test.
According to him, no fewer than 100 outlets had earlier been raided in conjunction with security agencies at one time or the other by the
agency staff at different locations across the state following tip-offs by patriotic members of the public and sustained surveillance of staff.
He lamented that most of the seized items had fake company name, fake brand name, fake country of origin and imaginary expiry date embossed
on them at the expense of people’s safety.
He said apart from blacklisting distributors of such items, the agency was also on the trail of the real manufacturers and their other collaborators, as they would be made to face the full weight of the law, in addition to paying penalties ranging between N500,000-N3m, depending on the volume of their committal, including cost of destruction as well as risk arrest and prosecution.
He described the burnt items as “life threatening products”, saying â€œmost of them had either expired since more than three years ago, or are entirely fake, while they were fraudulently labelled as being newly made and kept on the various supermarket shelves for unsuspecting residents to buy for their family consumption.
â€œPerpetrators of substandard and fake products, and their collaborators are worse than terrorists, with a vow that no efforts would be spared in unraveling the true identities of the manufactures.
â€œA single fake product like electric cable and iron rod can travel miles and wipe out several households in a row through sudden fire or building collapse, terrorists on the other hand, do have particular targets in mind during their operationsâ€.
Ayeni called on traditional rulers and local government functionaries to partner the agency in its bid to rid the society of killer-products, by telling their subjects to cultivate quality culture and refusing to buy cheap products suspected to be fake.
He also urged generality of the residents to constitute themselves into whistle-blowers to the agency by promptly reporting circulation or sale of suspected fake product in any part of the state.