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FG vows to punish peddlers of substandard products

Chidi Ogbuokiri

The Federal Government said it would ensure that the foreign and local merchants of life threatening products in the country face the full weight of the law of the country if they continue their quest to make Nigeria a dumping ground for fake and substandard products.

The government warns such fraudsters who produce and distribute substandard goods in the country to desist from their heinous acts, or face arrest and prosecution as the expanded Act of 2015 gives Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) the powers to arrest, confiscate such goods and prosecute offenders for violating the laws relating to standard of goods and services in the country.

Speaking at the official commissioning of SON’s office complex and laboratory in Ekiti State over the weekend, minister of industry, trade and investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo disclosed that the Federal Government is now more  determined to rid the country of such products and their peddlers using  modern technologies and world class infrastructures and laboratories.

Adebayo disclosed that before now, the government was pained that hundreds of thousands of Nigerian lives have been cut short as a result of substandard and life threatening products peddled around the country.

Such products the minister listed, include poor steel and roofing sheets, adulterated lubricants, explosion from continuous usage of old and expired Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders, fire hazards from substandard electrical cables and retreaded vehicule tyres.

“SON has recorded significant achievements in the prosecution of offenders in the past years and more arrests and prosecution are on the way especially for foreign nationals and their Nigerian collaborators who try to turn Nigeria into a dumping ground for substandard products.

“With such situation as expressed above, the commissioning of SON building could not have come at a better time than now as this will not only expand the activities of the organisation from the state capitals to all Local Government Areas, it will also reduce the cost and turnaround time for investments as against transporting product samples to SON laboratory facilities in Lagos and Enugu”, Adebayo stated.

He further said that the construction and the equipping of the Ekiti edifice has in fact become a priority as the nation gradually and systematically march towards independence and self reliance from oil to non-oil exports for economic growth and development, emphasising that no serious investor will engage in manufacturing of any product without checking for regulatory compliance to standards.

The minister expressed FG’s appreciation to the efforts of Mallam Farouk, the Director-General/CEO of SON whom he said has worked tirelessly to see to the timely completion of the office complex and laboratory in Ekiti State, while commending the organization for its initiative in signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with State governments on the development of and growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country. He urged SON to ensure diligent implementation of the terms of the agreement.

In his welcome address at the occasion, the DG of SON, Mallam Farouk, stated that the commissioning of the Ekiti permanent office and lab is in line with the agency’s new found vigour in fighting fake and substandard products in the country.

According to Farouk, SON is currently on the path of closing the infrastructural gaps identified with the wholesale completion of offices and /lab projects, arguing that the commissioning of such facilities is in line with the National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) plan

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