SON to curb influx of substandard products

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) says it will continue to intensify efforts aimed at checkmating influx of substandard products into the country.

The Agency Director General, Mr. Osita Aboloma said this during the inauguration of SON office complex at the Seme Border.

Mr. Aboloma said the opening of the office would tremendously help SON’s surveillance operations at land borders as a sizeable amount of substandard products found their way into the country via land borders.

He also commended other government agencies with offices at the border posts for the level of cooperation which they had forged thus far, expressing the optimism that such collaboration would continue.

According to him, the SON newly commissioned office was a product of the robust collaborative relationship with sister agencies, stressing that some of the materials were even donated by stakeholders.

“All the departments of SON with different roles towards combating influx of substandard goods are now here. We have our customer service, sampling and other departments here to serve Nigeria well. This is also part of our effort at creating enabling environment for ease of doing business in Nigeria,” Aboloma said.

The SON boss promised that his organisation would continue to review and update its standards to ensure goods and services conform to the minimum requirements of the Nigerian Industrial Standards (NIS).

He said these were in line with general retooling exercise of SON targeted at enhanced service delivery.

“Standardisation is a continuous process; We have to keep on renewing and updating some of them.. SON recently cleared a backlog of 114 standards to help people carry out their duties of production of goods and services efficiently… SON would be reviewing standards for soft drinks, food and other related products henceforth,” he said.

Aboloma pointed out that a major emphasis in the agency’s bid to diversify Nigeria’s economy was by upgrading standards for agricultural products for export.

”We have a novel product that provides standards for SME services in our effort to retool SMEs. In collaboration with stakeholders we are providing standards for saloons, bakery and other things because SMEs are key to industrial development in Nigeria,” he added.

The Deputy Comptroller, Nigerian Customs Service, (NCS), Mr. Jubo Mohammed, commended the management of the SON for establishing the facility, saying that it would go a long way in reducing the influx of substandard goods into the country.

He promised to enhance the collaboration between SON and NCs as well as other stakeholders in the interest of the economy.

”This will enable SON staff to conduct their duties convinently in the most convenient way. I am assuring you of the cooperation of the NCS in achieving your mandate,” he said.

A stakeholder, Chairman, Jascun, Investment Nigeria, Jachire Nwankwo, said the office was a first class facility that would support and encourage local production and trade.

“We never knew SON would complete this facility in a record time. The Director-General has demonstrated quality leadership while the stakeholders have provided quality followership and we can never stop.

“We want to use this medium to charge the management of SON to have a close relationship with stakeholders by way of regular interactive sessions.

This will help to combat the influx of substandard goods and we are also assuring you of our support to helping you achieve this feat,” he said.

Some stakeholders who spoke at the occasion commended SON Director General for the completion of the office complex within three months.

Present at the occasion were the representative of the Nigerian army, Border Patrol, Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service, Nigeria Immigration Service, State Security Service, the Nigerian police, freight Forwarders and Clearing Agents among others.