SON, Customs inter-agency collaboration yielding fruits

Matthew Otoijagha

The Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) has stated that inter agency collaborations to check the influx of fake and substandard goods into the country have been yielding fruits.

The Director General, SON, Osita Aboloma, explained that effective collaborations with sister agencies remained the surest way to end the menace of substandard goods edging out quality goods in the country.

The SON boss stated this during the hand-over of a 40 feet container by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) to SON on Wednesday in Lagos stocked with fake and substandard Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders.

Aboloma who was represented at the exercise by the Director, Compliance, Mr. Bede Obayi, added that so many containers would have passed through the nation’s seaports unchecked, stating the urgent need to check these substandard goods before they leave the ports.“We do not have to chase these containers on the highways. It is just a waste of time, resources and very unsafe for our officials. These goods are better stopped before entering the country. Nigeria is a very big country and SON cannot be everywhere at the same time to intercept these goods,” he said.

He explained that the hand-over was another demonstration of the collaboration between federal government agencies towards tackling the preponderance of fake and substandard products in the country.

“We have been monitoring that container from the ports and through intelligence gathering and support from the NCS; we were able to intercept these goods before they got into the households of the unsuspecting Nigerian consumers. We will stop at nothing to reduce the level of substandard goods in the country and we have also deployed different initiatives to ensure that this country is rid of substandard products”,  he added.

He, however, stated that using the substandard LPG cylinders would pose serious threat to lives and property, advising importers to register their products with the agency to prevent future occurrences of fire outbreaks in Nigerian homes.

“We have put all the necessary details to ensure traceability, if there is any case to recall these products; we have all details to ensure we get these products. We are telling Nigerians who want to go and import cylinders that the federal government has encouraged the use of LPG cylinders, but this does not mean importers should import substandard LPG cylinders.

’’We cannot allow these unscrupulous importers to kill innocent Nigerians, this is why we have put all the safety guidelines for importing LPG cylinders,” he stated.

Earlier, Muhammed Uba, the Comptroller, Federal Operations Unit (FOU) of Customs (A) Ikeja, Lagos, said the container was intercepted on the highway based on information, saying that the reason for the interception was that the importers failed to provide relevant custom papers. He added that after cross examination of the container, NCS discovered an excess of N504, 000 excise duty which was not paid by the importer.

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