To protect Nigerian consumers from continuing to fall victim to fake and substandard products, the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has concluded plans to launch its novel Product Authentication Mark (PAM).
The Director General of SON, Mallam Farouk Salim disclosed this, in Lagos, during a sensitization programme organised for manufacturers, importers and other stakeholders ahead the launch.
He disclosed that PAM is one of the initiatives of the Organisation to enable consumers to verify the authenticity of all SON-regulated products in the markets in the agency’s continuous efforts to address the challenges posed by the presence of sub-standard products in Nigeria.
SON is empowered by the provision of the Act, 2015 to amongst others facilitate trade and ensure that all imported and manufactured products meet the requirements of the relevant standards thereby promoting public safety, improving the lives and security of the citizens of Nigeria.
In line with its mandate, the Organisation, according Mallam Salim has over the years substantially reduced the importation, manufacturing and distribution of substandard products in the country through its Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) and Standards Organisation of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP) schemes respectively.
Despite the efforts of the Organisation, substandard products are still being imported or manufactured and distributed in the country by smuggling, and in some cases through the use of fake SON stickers on non-certified products amongst others.
To curb this disturbing occurrence in the country, Mallam Salim said that the Organisation has developed PAM to facilitate the verification of the source and quality products in the Nigerian market.
According to him, PAM is a digital technology to complement the SON Conformity Assessment Programmes (SONCAP and MANCAP) in furtherance of the fight against substandard and counterfeit products in Nigeria.
He disclosed that this Scheme places the power to detect, reject and report substandard goods in our markets in the hands of the consumers by simply scanning a QR code with their smart phone or sending an SMS to 281. “It will no doubt better position us at SON to protect our fellow citizens and ensure that we all get value for our money,” he said.
The DG said among the benefits of PAM include: Protection of genuine manufacturers and importers from faking and counterfeiting of their certified product; Promotion of a level playing field in the market for both locally manufactured and imported products certified by SON; Provision of assurance to Consumers on products and guarantee value for money; and Assurance of effective removal of non-complying products in the markets.
In conclusion, Mallam Salim said that the journey towards the actualization of this innovation has been long and arduous and would not have been successful without the strong support and encouragement of the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI). “I therefore wish to profoundly appreciate the Honourable Minister Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, the Honourable Minister of State, Ambassador Mariam Y. Katagum and the entire Management of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment for their immense support in the actualisation of the scheme.