Consumer Safety: SON seeks stiffer penalties for fake, substandard products importers

*Farouk Salim, Direc­tor-General of Standards Organisation of Nigeria, says provisions in the proposed legislation will stipulate that the importers and manufacturers of substandard products should be fined and jailed upon conviction by the court

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In the agency’s effort at protecting consumers, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has said it will seek amendment to the Act establishing the regulatory body.

The SON noted the amendment would prescribe stiffer penalties or sanctions for both manufacturers and importers of fake and substandard products in the country.

Regulatory agency officials destroying seized fake and substandard products 

ConsumerConnect reports Malam Farouk Salim, Direc­tor-General of SON, stated this November 23, 2022, at a media briefing to mark the 50th Anniversary of SON, in Abuja, FCT.

The SON Director-General disclosed the provisions in the proposed legislation would stipulate that the importers and manufacturers of substandard products be fined and jailed on conviction by the court.

Salim said the SON was poised to fight counterfeit and substan­dard products across Nigeria.

“Anytime Nigerians buy substandard products, they are aiding and abetting the clo­sure of Nigerian industries and helping the youths to be unem­ployed,” stated he.

Effects of substandard products on Nigeria’s economy

Salim also stated the importers of counterfeit prod­ucts contribute to the present in­security in the country.

According to him, their activities have led to the collapse of industries in the West African country.

The Act establishing the Standards Organisation of Nigeria was last amended in 2015.

Salim noted: “Before the 2015, the penalties were not very clear in the Act. “So the amendment has empowered us for conformity assessment.

“The reason we always amend the Act is because the world is evolving and the industries are always changing.”

The SON Chief further said: “The people following the rules are also changing.

“Hope­fully, before the tenure of this administration, we will have another amendment that will be presented to the National As­sembly.

“For example, in 2015, the pen­alty for importing sub-standard products was N1 million and N1 million now; it is not significant.”

He said: “Most of these people import­ing these products are not poor, they are rich.

“In the industry where people break the rules, it is the conse­quences that stop them.

“So, we need to amend the Act to increase the jail term or give them the right to fine and make sure that jail term is added to it.”

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