Tuesday, February 27Inside Business Africa

Nigeria to raise sanctions against importers of sub-standard products

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has stated that it will come harder on life-endangering products in the country.Indeed, the standards body noted that the move was as a result of the numerous complaints received by the agency, maintaining that it will stop at nothing to prosecute dealers in substandard goods both collectively or individually to serve as a deterrent to other criminally-minded persons.

The Director-General, SON, Osita Aboloma, stated this at a courtesy visit by Alaba Electronic Dealers to rekindle its relationship with the agency in checking importation of substandard goods.

Aboloma said: “We will give you a moratorium period; what you are used to before the advent of our SON Act 2015, should be discontinued, our Act has revolutionized our processes at SON. We now have powers to bite, full power to prosecute, we do no longer rely on agents for quality assessment or enforcement of regulation of non-conformity of standards.”

The SON boss stated that the agency has considered most of the products sold in Alaba as life-threatening, warning that SON is on top of its game to fish out products that fall short of international best practices or the minimum requirements of the standards.

“This is a continuous interaction with critical stakeholders. We believe your section is one of the biggest in Africa. We consider electronics to be life-threatening. When we classify products as life threatening, our enforcement will be stricter than others. We cannot do it alone and we also know the effect of substandard electronics on the health of Nigeria and the drain on the Nigerian economy.

“As part of our mandate, we must ensure that we have zero tolerance for the influx of substandard electronics. We must work together as Nigerians first and as regulators and as shareholders to check the unwholesome practice that most of you embark on this sector,” he said.He frowned at the activities of unscrupulous electronic dealers who deliberately mislead the unsuspecting consumers by way of faking established electronic brands, saying that it is an infringement on quality and trademark.

He enjoined the electronic dealers to develop their own brands, restating the agency’s support to protect their brands if registered with the standards body.

“I want to encourage you to develop your own brand and we will be with you to guide you through the processes of quality assurance and conformity assessment to our standards. If you develop your own brands you will register it with us and it becomes our duty to protect you from your brothers that decides to forge your products,” he added.

Also speaking at the event, the Executive Chairman, Alaba Electronics, Paulinus Ugochukwu, stated since his assumption of office as the Executive Chairman, it has not been business as usual for electronic dealers, saying that his administration is working hard to bring back the glory days of Alaba International market.

He urged electronic dealers to establish their own brands, saying that the established local brands are doing very well in the market while also competing with foreign brands.

He pledged to work partner SON to end continued sale of fake and substandard products tarnishing the image of Alaba international market.“We will engage in sensitization programmes to encourage these dealers to produce their own brand going forward,” he said.

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