SON destroys substandard tyres, cables, others in Lagos

SON destroys substandard tyres, cables, others in Lagos

By Chiazo Ogbolu, Lagos.

 

The Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) on Wednesday in Lagos destroyed substandard electric cables, engine oil, LPG cylinders, stuffed new tyres, unapproved cigarettes and low-grade roofing sheets.

 

Malam Farouk Salim, Director-General of SON, noted, at the site of the destruction of the substandard products, that the inferior goods affected the nation’s economy negatively.

 

Salim said that all the products destroyed were imported into the country and brought in through the ports.

 

He, therefore, called for the return of SON to the ports to help tackle influx of substandard products and its consequences on the nation’s economy.

 

According to him, the burning of the substandard products is to assure Nigerians that SON is actually destroying them after obtaining court order to that effect.

 

“Most of these substandard products were captured in the market where they are ready to be sold to customers and the unfortunate thing is that they passed through our ports.

 

“It will be much easier for these substandard products to be detected if our employees are at the source of the import of these products,” he said.

 

According to him, SON is not always invited for joint inspection and invitations for joint inspection are rare and far in-between.

 

“I guarantee you that if our officers have opportunity to inspect these products, the moment they look at it from experience, they would be able to detect the substandard goods.

 

“Don’t forget that officers of the customs service are trained to check for duty, they have no idea of how to detect substandard products easily but our personnel are trained on how to check these products,” he said.

 

The SON boss said that unfortunately, its officers had no unfettered access, as stipulated by the Constitution.

 

“Unless the law is changed by the National Assembly, signed by the President, the law says SON must and should be at the ports, not at the discretion of any organisation,” he said.

 

Salim said that SON had made arrests, citing a member of the Auto Spare Parts and Machinery Dealers Association (ASPAMDA) producing fake lubrication fluid, who was presently incarcerated, awaiting prosecution.

 

Mrs Bisiriyu Adesewa, Assistant Chief Scientific Officer, Sector Head (Domestic Rubber) National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Lagos Liaison Office, said that NESREA was present to ensure proper disposal of the products.

 

“We appreciate SON for ensuring that substandard products don’t enter the market, but we are particular about what happens to these things after the destruction.

 

“We understand that most of them are going to recycling companies and the only one not recyclable for now is the oil and we will link SON with a facility that can help them dispose it, so that there will be zero waste.

 

“The disposal process here is in line with our rules and regulations. The first thing is to dismantle and separate them, which they have already done, next is the recycling,” she said.

 

Also, Mrs Susie Onwuka, Head of Federal Competition and Consumption Protection Commission (FCCPC), Lagos Office, said that the commission had a Memorandum of Understanding with SON and different sector regulators on removal of substandard goods from the market.

 

She commended SON for the massive seizures, noting that more work needed to be done.

 

ACP Lawrence Iwodi, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Annex, Alagbon, Lagos, said that the police were working with SON to ensure adherence standards on relation to imported goods imported.

 

“SON has often referred cases of substandard goods to the Nigerian Police and we have carried out a number of investigations into these cases. We have a lot of convictions, some are still ongoing in the court and some still under investigation,” he said.

 

Mrs Bukola Adubi, Chief Operating Officer, MisCom Cables and Wires Ltd., promised that going forward, the company would have a good relationship with SON, to ensure sustained exposure of the evil.

 

“My visit here today has been eye-opening and we have been in discussions with SON on this issue. This issue is affecting our legacy, brand and our bottom-line.

 

“This menace, given some time, we will see an end to it and I will go back to tell my people that SON does actually have their back,” she said.

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