Some stuffed substandard tyres valued at N600 million have been confiscated in warehouse in Ogun State by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON).
Also, the organisation said that two containers of stuffed imported used tyres were seized in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Director-General of the Organisation, Mallam Farouk Salim, said in Lagos at a capacity building workshop for journalists that SON had embarked on prosecution of standard infractions relating to substandard lubricants, electric cables and forgery of the organisation’s clearing documents, among others.
He added that the organisation had mopped up substandard LPG cylinders in Suleija in Nigeria State and made seizures of adulterated engine oil in Kano and Lagos.
The director-general also noted that LPG cylinders had been mopped up from different parts of Anambra State and were destroyed in Enugu in February, 2021, stressing that six contain ers of stuffed imported tyres and substandard LPG cylinders intercepted from multiple sources were also destroyed in Lagos in February 2021.
Salim said: “Two containers of imported used, stuffed tyres seized in Port Harcourt were destroyed in Enugu in March 2021. The SON legal department is currently prosecuting about six standard infractions in courts across the country.”
He explained that there had been stakeholder’s engagements on substandard tyres and lubricants in Lagos And Kano, while standards and quality advocacy had been carried to the state governments in Kano, Sokoto, Katsina, Jigawa, Enugu, Ebonyi, Nassarawa, Osun, Kwara and Benue by SON.
Salim also noted that Nigerian manufacturers must improve on their products to maximise opportunities in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), saying that AfCFTA was a trade agreement between AU member states with the goal of creating a single market followed by free movement and a single-currency union.
Salim stressed that Nigerian manufacturers needed to produce products that meet international standards to enable them compete favourably.
He added that efforts were being made to improve standard of products and eliminate substandard goods in the country. Salim noted: “We have done enough enforcements, discussed about how to stop all these things that are entering our country.
We are working assiduously both within, outside and underground, to improve activities of the Organisation so that it can serve the country better. “This is very important, because we have the new African free trade, where goods will be crossing borders without too many hindrances.
“So, what that means for our country is, if our manufacturers are not producing standard goods, they will not cross over to the other countries, because other countries will set standards too and they will expect goods coming to their countries to be up to standard.
“It is our responsibility as the SON to make sure our goods in this country are up to standard. We must make sure those substandard goods in the markets decrease.
” Following the on-going multi-billion naira railway infrastructure being constructed nationwide by the Federal Government, the Director-General explained that the Organisation would target the movement of goods transiting through the railway freight stations to curb the spread of substandard products in the country.
Salim stressed that the country was currently accelerating growth in infrastructure projects in the railway sector nationwide as catalyst for national development, saying that railway could serve as avenue for unscrupulous importers, exporters and manufacturers to move substandard products in the country, saying that this would be inimical to the country’s gross domestic products (GDP) growth. With this railway infrastructure projects in place,
Salim explained that talks were ongoing with the Australian Standards Organisation to get railway standards that would act as a benchmark for the Federal Ministry Of Transportation (FMOT) to prevent substandard products inflow through the railways.
He explained: “Four months ago, we actually have discussions on the Australian Standards Organisation where we are going to get the railway standards and help FMOT to get the standards properly.
“Also part of the things we are doing right now is that if the goods are coming through the railways, we will have people at the railway stations to check those products to ensure they are okay.”