By Sandra Chukwunyere
The Director General of Standard Oganisation of Nigeria (SON) Osita Aboloma, has stated that collaboration is key for the achievement of Zero Substandard Imports.
Aboloma made the disclosure as part of his address at the Sensitization Workshop for the Maritime Sector in Lagos.
He said that the theme of the Workshop, ‘Stakeholders’ Collaboration as a Tool for Zero Substandard Imports’ is apt as SON cannot achieve the goal of zero importation of substandard products alone. “I therefore implore you to join us to sensitize and educate all importers and the public on the importance of quality goods and products as well as the dangers associated with substandard and life-endangering products.”
Aboloma stressed the critical roles which Association of Nigeria Licenced Customs Agents (ANLCA), the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) and other key stakeholders play in the Maritime Sector and thanked them for their continuous support and collaboration with SON. “This is most essential in the fight against the importation of substandard products and the attendant dangers to lives and properties, as well as the economy of our dear Nation”
He said,the works of standardization, quality assurance as well as campaign against the menace of substandard products remains a collaborative and partnership endeavour among SON and its stakeholders, saying that over 80 per cent of products that enter into Nigeria daily, monthly or yearly are via the Nation’s seaports and waterways. “It is therefore critical to collaborate with the Maritime Sector operators in the quest for zero import of substandard and unwholesome products as well as the Federal Government’s Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Policy”
DG disclosed that continuous engagement with sectoral operators and stakeholders would help SON to carry everybody along in the zero tolerance to substandard, fake and counterfeit products campaign.
He said, one major way of bringing the players on board the standards and quality voyage is through sensitization/enlightenment, adding that the workshop’s objectives include, providing a veritable avenue for cross-fertilization of ideas, views, suggestions and solutions on how to move the Nation’s Maritime sector forward, especially in furtherance of the Federal Government’s Ease of Doing Business policy relative to Electronic clearance, destination inspection and the on-going repositioning of the Nation’s Ports.
The DG went further to state that it is important to note that non-involvement of SON at some Ports of entry in the country operations has continued to pose challenges, particularly to the agency’s compliance and monitoring units. “In some Ports, SON only gets invitation for cargo examination when ‘deemed necessary”
According to the DG, “The Nation’s economy and the lives of Nigerians are also further endangered due to the influx of substandard goods. It is worthy to note that the value of substandard products that the SON has seized in the past one year is estimated to be over 22.7bn NGN (both destroyed and awaiting destruction). Some of these products are: tyres; electric cables; LPG cylinders; lubricants; communication cables; unfortified sugar, etc.”
Aboloma said, the essence of the workshop is to interact with maritime players, to discuss import/export businesses, with the objective of getting you deeply committed to doing the right things, especially concerning import processes and procedures.