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Substandard products fuelling insecurity, destroying Nigerian economy: SON

Malam Farouk Salim, Director-General of SON

*Farouk Salim, Director-General of Standards Organisation of Nigeria, at a stakeholders’ sensitisation forum in Lagos says ‘substandard goods are killing the country’s economy, and fuelling high rate of insecurity

*Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents suggests return of SON to the country’s seaports to win the war against the importation of substandard goods

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has stated that the barefaced importation of substandard goods is responsible for the high rate of insecurity in the West African country.

ConsumerConnect reports Malam Farouk Salim, Director-General of SON, noted this development while speaking at a maritime stakeholders’ sensitisation forum Thursday, April 14, 2022, in Apapa, Lagos State.

The SON Chief, who spoke at the forum with the theme: “Standards Save Lives, Grow Economy”, declared that Nigeria cannot survive with the influx of substandard goods being imported into the country.

Malam Salim also stated that substandard goods are killing the country’s economy.

When people bring in substandard or prohibited products even when such a person has $10billion, he said that there are criminals, bandits and cultists who may collect such products from them.

The SON Director-General further stated: “The reason for this gathering is to make sure that we try to sensitise each other in what we look out for.

“When we take any product as substandard, we are not here to spoil anybody’s products. We are doing it to protect your business and the people that buy the products.”

Substandard products

Salim also said: “In other climes, when you buy a product and sell it to the public and the public get injured or they don’t get satisfaction with the product, the seller would get sued. When you get sued, you lose a lot of money, sometimes, you may land in jail.

“In Nigeria, we have to develop to that level. We have the laws but we have not developed to the level where some will go and buy substandard cable and sell it to Nigerians and get jailed for that.”

He, however, lamented that in Nigeria, nobody tracks the sellers of such a product, or arrest such a person, and charge them with manslaughter.

Malam Salim, therefore, urged the stakeholders to engage genuine businessmen in bringing quality products into the country.

If substandard goods continue to come into the country, the local manufacturers and industries would be destroyed, said he.

According to him, the essence of the sensitisation with stakeholders is to communicate and share views on how to make businesses more efficient in Nigeria.

Dr. Kayode Farinto, Vice-President of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), in his remarks at the event, said that if the country must win the war against the importation of substandard goods, there is a need to return SON to the country’s seaports.

Farinto, while delivering a topic: “Juxtaposing Substandard Imports; SON’s Absence At Seaport”, also said despite the fact that SON had vacated the ports about a few years ago, the increase in the imports of substandard goods and the effort of some nonconformist have shown that there is a need to reverse the executive decision, if the country must win the war against the importation of substandard products.

The ANLCA Acting President noted that if the trend is not arrested urgently by providing a solution, then it may affect the economy and dwindle the nation’s income drastically.

Farinto further stated that the absence of SON as a regulatory Agency in the ports encourages the importation and smuggling of Sub-standard products.

“If we must achieve ease of doing business, then freight forwarders, Licensed Customs Brokers, should do away with dishonesty in their declarations in order to circumvent the procedures, which impedes ease of doing business,” he said.

Chief Tochukwu Ezisi, President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), represented by Rev. Emma Agunbaze, his Chief of Staff, urged SON to engage stakeholders more.

Ezizi said stakeholders’ engagement would further ensure proper consideration of interests while commending SON for embracing the ease of doing business in the country.

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