By Miriam Humbe
The Senate Committee on Industries has condemned the importation of substandard products into the country, stating that it was currently working to ensure that the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) returns to the nation’s seaports to checkmate the menace.
The committee maintained that standards regulatory bodies all over the world were represented at the entry points to check the quality of goods before entering markets, adding that Nigeria cannot be left out of this trend.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Industries, Senator Bayo Osinowo, during an oversight visit to SON’s laboratory complex in Ogba, Lagos, said the Committee will ensure SON performs its statutory role by being present at the nation’s points of entry to monitor the quality of products being imported into the country and ensure they meet the requirements of the Nigerian Industrial Standards.
He said, “It is unfortunate that SON is not at the port for whatever reasons. It was established to monitor all the quality of products produced in Nigeria and imported into the country”.
“When we found out that SON was not at the ports, we decided to address this by looking into it and amending its law in 2015, because there must be an office for them at the ports to carry out their mandate effectively.”
Director General, SON, Osita Aboloma, said if supported in ways needed by the government, the agency will function effectively and meet up with the challenges of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement by ensuring greater competitiveness of made-in-Nigeria products and preventing dumping of substandard and life-endangering products on the nation.
He said, “Positioning SON to be ready to break non-tariff barriers to trade has been quite tasking and this is why it is required for us to have internationally accredited laboratories to carry out tests of conformity agreed upon by regional, continental and international bodies.
“Quality assurance is a collective effort because we cannot do it alone. We seek the partnership and cooperation of all Nigerians in order to improve the lives of the citizens through standards and quality assurance processes,” he said.
Aboloma acknowledged the tremendous support of the National Assembly over the years in strengthening the organisation’s human and material capacity with special mention of the SON Act 14 of 2015 which he described as futuristic.