The Director, Inspectorate and Compliance Department, Dr Omolara Okunola (left); Senior Intelligence Analyst, Dr. Bello Mohammed Abdulhaziz; and Head SON APMT Kano, Mr Ishaku Mohammed Gammagira, at SON and NFIU sensitisation forum against substandard products in Lagos, recently.
SON intensifies war against fake products, allies with NFIU
By Valentine Amanze
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has struck a deal with the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) as it intensifies fight against fake and substandard products in Nigeria.
The Director-General, SON, Malam Farouk Salim, disclosed this at a sensitisation programme in Lagos titled, “The Use of Crime Record Information Management System as a tool to fight the influx of fake/sub-standard products and other related crimes in Nigeria.’’
He warned that it would no longer be business as usual for purveyors of fake and sub-standard products in the country.
Salim, represented by Dr Omolara Okunola, the director, Inspectorate and Compliance, SON, said that the partnership would greatly checkmate high incidence of financially-related crimes, especially influx of counterfeit products into the country.
He lauded the efforts of the NFIU to support the standards body towards the effective discharge of the agency’s statutory mandate.
The director-general stated that the agency would get its staff properly trained on special applications to fight crime and get rid of counterfeited, fake and sub-standard products coming into the country.
“Our core mandate is to ensure that products and services locally made or imported into Nigeria meet standards and quality benchmarks in line with global best practices.
“You know, before you can do anything either in production or services, you need to gather the necessary data.
“And that is why this intervention by NFIU comes in handy for us to do documentation, intelligence reports in order to detect and track dubious importers and fraudsters.
“The collaboration would go a long way to unmask the hidden hands backing importation of substandard goods into the country.
“This would in turn help check the menace of fake products across the country,’’ Salim said.
Mr. Modibbo Hammah Tukur, the chief executive officer, NFIU, disclosed that the influx of fake and sub-standard products into the country would be controlled via effective collaborative efforts and information sharing among the relevant government agencies.
Hammah Tukur said NFIU was the central body in Nigeria responsible for receiving, requesting, analysing and disseminating financial intelligence reports on money laundering, terrorist financing and other relevant information.
Represented by Dr Bello Abdulhaziz, Senior Intelligence Analyst, NFIU, he said the collaboration would help SON to flag suspicious products at the borders for further investigation.
“We are poised to collaborate with all stakeholders in analysing and providing credible and actionable information to put an end to influx of substandard products,” he said.
The sensitisation programme is expected to be conducted in other major cities such as Abuja, Kano and Port-Harcourt for relevant SON staff.