Members of the National Assembly (NAS) have decried the lingering absence of the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) from the nation’s Ports since 2011 noting the situation has paved the way for substandard and prohibited goods to freely enter the country.
The chairman House committee on industry, Enitan Dolapo-Badru, who disclosed this during his Committee’s overnight visit to SON laboratory in Lagos, said members of the committee are resolute at ensuring that the identified challenges are resolved soonest in order to expedite the return of SON back to the ports.
He condemned the continued absence of SON officials who he said are legally and professionally more disposed to conducting test and physical examination of imported goods that can caused havoc to the economy and loss of lives of innocent Nigerians who use such poor quality products.
“A lot of deaths from substandard products are recorded on a daily basis in the country. Tanker explosions, building collapses, fire resulting from poor electrical and electronics products, to mention a few. It is unthinkable that iron rods, vehicular tyres, gas cylinders, generators, etc are being imported into the country and SON is being prevented from entering the Ports to certify the goods before they enter the markets. This is so sad,” he stressed.
Badru promised that his 18-Member Committee will do everything within their legislative powers to ensure that the anomaly is corrected, saying that; “We cannot substitute ease of doing business with quality or standards of products imported into the country”.
Also speaking at the occasion, Director General of SON, Farouk Salim noted that despite the many challenges of the agency, SON is doing everything within its powers to ensure that goods consumed in the country are of international standards. “This explains why SON is entering into strategic partnership with state governments to broaden the reach of its services through the establishment of more laboratories nationwide.” He added.
It would be recalled that the minister of industry, trade and investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, while commissioning SON office complex and laboratory in Ekiti State recently, said the Federal Government was pained over hundreds of thousands of Nigerian lives cut short as a result of substandard and life threatening products peddled around the country.
The minister listed such products to include poor steel and roofing sheets, adulterated lubricants, explosion from continuous usage of old and expired Lignified Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders, fire hazards from substandard electrical cables and retreaded vehicular tyres.