The Acting Director General of Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), Dr. Paul Angya has accused the Nigeria Customs Service for the influx of fake and substandard goods into the country.
Dr. Paul Angya lamented that the Customs never invite SON officials to the ports to check containers before they leave the ports, thus the agency could only chase containers after they exit the port.
“Since SON was sent out of the port, we are only invited to the ports to do our job but 90% of the time, the Customs never invite us. That is why we have resolved to chase the containers on the road”, the Acting DG said’.
The Acting DG was speaking during a recent maritime stakeholders’ awareness forum with the theme: “Seamless import Fostering Trade Without Comprising Standards”.
Dr. Angya stressed that since SON officials were banished from the ports, their operations had been impaired and he noted that the agency was making efforts to return to the ports.
According to Dr Angya, another restraining factor of the agency is the shortage of staff. He said that, “the agency has only 1500 staff covering a nation of about 5,000 sq. meters and a population of over 170milion people. We are immensely outnumbered, since I stepped into this position, I have been pleading to be allowed to do massive recruitment because we need staff”.
When asked why SON was averse to chase local made product the same way they go after imported goods, Dr. Angya said that about 99.9% of substandard products in Nigeria are imported. He noted that the problem of locally made products most times were packaging.
“It will no longer be business as usual. There will be consequences from both the Chinese and the Nigeria who are involved in these substandard products” he said.
He added that the stakeholders’ meeting was to put the spotlight on the issue of substandard products especially those manipulating government agencies.
By Kenneth Jukpor