By Eromosele Abiodun
In its renewed efforts to fight the influx of fake and substandard products into the country, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has commenced a national sensitisation campaign to various sectors of stakeholders in the country.
Speaking at the taking-off of the programme at the Electronics Section of Alaba International Market in Lagos State, the Director General of SON, Osita Aboloma stressed the need to fight the war against fake and substandard products within the country.
Aboloma, who was represented by a Director from his office, Yahaya Bukar, informed the traders that both SON and the traders association has decided to constitute a taskforce that would comprise of members of the association as well as officials of SON, with the task of taking regulation closer to the importers and traders.
According to Aboloma “We want to fight the war from within because you know those that are not complying. We know that there are genuine and well-meaning importers, manufacturers and traders that are highly committed to complying with the requirements of standards.
“There are also importers and traders that are not willing to comply with standards. These set of importers and traders are enemies of the public, because their acts are dangerous to lives and property and a drain to people’s pockets.
“We must also protect the businesses of the genuine importers and traders by eradicating substandard products from the markets and ensure that
Nigerians get value for the money spent on electronics,” he said.
The SON boss also said it was the duty of the agency to make sure that electronic products sold in Nigerian markets are safe to use, especially as the Alaba international market is regarded as the largest electronic market in West Africa.
“It is our responsibility also to ensure that electronic products in our markets are safe to use. It will be a thing of joy also if the electronics market of Alaba is noted for only good quality products.
“This is not impossible to achieve. It only requires your collective effort, dedications, patriotism, truthfulness, uprightness and more importantly, the fear of God, “Aboloma said.
He asserted that the engagement was one of SON’s approach to fight the war against substandard products from within.
The SON boss urged importers to approach the agency to enable them brand their manufactured products with their brand-names rather than using labels of already established foreign brands, which according to him, such acts amount to promoting and creating employment to those countries nationals.
“Substandard and fake electronic gadgets cause lots of hazards including, electrocution, deaths, injuries, loss of revenue, among others. “We seek your contribution as worthy stakeholders in this fight against sub-standard products. We urge you to avoid non-compliant trade, ”he warned.
Speaking earlier, the President of International Markets Association (Electronics) IMAE Alaba International, Paulinus Ugochukwu called on the federal government to address the challenge of power supply and the deplorable access roads to the Alaba International market.
Ugochukwu also admonished the government to reopen the nation’s land borders, noting that genuine traders and importers have suffered severely from the border closure.
He assured SON that members of the association would continue to adhere to stipulated standards even as he encouraged his colleagues to tilt towards manufacturing their own products rather than importing finished electronic products.
He observed that the theme of the event, “Promoting Self-Regulation to Eradicate Substandard Electronics from Nigerian Markets,” showed the high degree of stakeholders’ engagement by SON to sanitise and rid Nigeria of substandard products.