In a bid to ensure and improve lives through enforcing standards, the Director General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mallam Farouk Salim, yesterday in a meeting with steel manufacturers and steel distributors, issued a three-month ultimatum on the need to clear out of the markets substandard steel bars.
Speaking during the emergency meeting in Lagos, Farouk appealed to all steel manufacturers and marketers in the country to put their house in order as failure to comply will result in prosecutions and serious jail time for offenders.
A statement quoted the SON boss to have cited the recent spate of building collapse which had claimed hundreds of lives saying it is a big blow on the nation and especially the construction industry which the steel sector falls under.
According to him the consequences of the disasters had raised concerns and the onus was always on SON to get to the root cause of the issue with the view to finding a lasting solution.
He further advised that moving forward both the manufacturers and distributors have been given two months to form associations for self regulation and an organised way of articulating industry challenges to ensure strict compliance and also root amongst their members those engaging in such inimical acts .
According to him, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement which has legally taken effect from January this year means our borders are be open and any substandard products sold may be rejected thereby hindering economic growth
The DG however, reaffirmed SON’s mandate to foster trade and economic growth and not impede it stating that SON would not allow any dubious business persons to destroy lives, property and scarce resources.
The Director General in therefore craved the indulgence of the steel industry to cooperate with SON so that wealth and value can be created without infractions as he said “if you work with me I work with you but if you work against me the law will be upheld to the letter”
The SON boss also disclosed that after the expiration of the three months moratorium to dealers in steel the agency will commence full scale enforcement, mopping of substandard steel in factories and markets and if found culpable prosecutions will immediately.