By Miriam Humbe
Director General of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) Mr. Osita Aboloma has that the agency has embarked on a nationwide mop up of suspected substandard lubricants following intelligence reports and weeks of surveillance, trap buying and laboratory testing and analysis.
The exercise was also informed by continuous complaints on lack of value for money by consumers as well as complaints of adulteration and faking by brand owners.
At the Trade Fair Complex, Lagos, where five containers of suspected substandard lubricants were apprehended while being off-loaded into the importers warehouse, he said that the exercise would be continuous.
Represented by Mr. Isa Suleiman, SON Coordinator of Surveillance, Intelligence and Monitoring, Aboloma also said similar standards enforcement exercises in Lagos at Ago Palace Way, Okota, the Amuwo Odofin Industrial Estate and Oshodi – Apapa Expressway, where suspected substandard lubricants and base oil were quarantined and samples taken for further laboratory tests and analysis.
He described the exercise as a continuation of its sectoral cleansing of the Nigerian markets of substandard and life endangering products, whether locally manufactured or imported, warning that purveyors of the life threatening products would be prosecuted in line with the SON Act 14 of 2015 after conclusion of investigations.
The Director General also assured the public that those found not culpable would have the quarantined products released to them and their premises reopened in line with the SON standards enforcement protocol.
In Ogun State, the SON enforcement team combed Sagamu, Ijebu Ode and Abeokuta where drums of base oil sold as lubricants were evacuated.
On the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, a company, West Bridge Lubricants Limited was shut down because its products were carrying the SON mark of quality, which were not issued by the organisation.
Also in Kano, the enforcement activities were carried out at France Road, Maganda Road and Eastern Byepass, where 57 cartons of Lubrisac brand of engine oil, 34 drums and 324 cartons of SAP engine oil, 6 drums of SAP gear oil and 9 drums of hydraulic oil among others were put on hold and the warehouse sealed.
Other products put on hold were 53 drums of SAP Grease, 19 drums of unbranded engine oil, 148 Cartons of Keke brand of engine oil amongst others.
The Port Harcourt exercise was carried out in collaboration with the National Union of Petroleum and Gas Workers (NUPENG) at Mile 1, Ikoku and Iriebe/Oyigbo axis where 12 shops were sealed, 16 drums, cartons and jerry cans of suspected substandard lube oils were quarantined.
In the Federal Capital Territory, 10 warehouses were shut down, 700 cartons of suspected substandard lubricants put on hold while 51 cartons were evacuated.
Other states where the enforcement activity has been carried out include Niger, Kogi, Oyo and Abia.