Standards Organisation of Nigerian, SON, said it was considering imposing additional sanctions on importation of substandard goods.
The Director General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) Dr.Joseph Odumodu disclosed this at a stakeholders’ forum on the maritime industry tagged: “Seamless importation: Building stakeholders’ synergy and fostering trade without compromising standards.”
He said in view of the fact that 90 percent of fake products in the country are imported products, SON is considering imposing stricter penalties on foreign nations exporting substandard goods into Nigeria, adding that these countries do not mean well for the economic development of the nation.
He said, “We need to take firmer actions against countries that are selling death to Nigerians. We must take stricter actions. It is a self-intervention activity. We are losing our people because they are selling death to us, but more importantly, we also need industries in Nigeria.
“If they continue to sell these products to us and our industries continue to die, there will be no jobs for our children. The point I am making is that the people selling these products to us are not ready to change because they are making money from it. So, we have to help ourselves.
He pointed out that made-in-Nigeria goods suffer neglect and destruction in the global market bringing nothing but economic loss to the country.
To tackle this challenge, he said that two of SON’s laboratories are now accredited to ensure that any product that undergoes any form of test in Nigeria will be accepted globally.
“Sometimes we export products like cocoa to the United Kingdom and when they test it and it does not meet standards, they destroy it but now we have a testing laboratory that is world class and this is not a Nigerian thing. Once we test and certify any product here in Nigeria, nobody can challenge it anywhere in the world and this is why we must also build capacity,” he said.
Also speaking, Special Adviser to the President, on maritime industry, Mr. Oyewole Leke, urged stakeholders to support SON in finding a lasting solution to the menace of substandard goods plaguing the nation’s economy.
“We must decide how and what kind of goods come into the Nigerian market. Nigeria is not a dumping ground. We must search with the depth of our conscience on how best we can support SON in its fight against substandard goods,” he said.
He noted that substandard goods have made many companies close shops; contributed to a lot of unemployment crisis and has also brought so many deaths in Nigeria.
The National Secretary, Association of Nigeria Licensing Custom Agents NLACA called for the need to build an enduring Public Private Partnership (PPP) for the maritime sector, adding that PPP is a necessary tool for the growth of the nation’s maritime industry.