SON Director General, Mallam Farouk Salim (file photo)
‘The country loses N15 trillion annually to substandard products’
By Valentine Amanze
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has appealed to manufacturers to maintain high standards in the production of products to ensure speedy growth of the real sector.
SON also pointed out that the growth of the industrial sector would boost the value of the naira (national currency).
The SON Director General, Mallam Farouk Salim, made the appeal at a stakegolders’ sensitization workshop/MANCAP certification presentation in Lagos, where he also called for the standardisation of products and services.
He urged Nigerians to appreciate and patronise made-in-Nigeria products for the good of all.
“Other countries make emphasis on products made in their country. So why can’t Nigerians do the same? Why must we patronise other countries to the detriment of ours?” he said.
He warned that the industry would not survive substandard goods, saying,
“Without standards, there won’t be industries.
“If our industries are doing well, naira will not fail. Withouts standards, the industry will not survive.
“The Standards Organisation of Nigeria is the heart of the industry.
Without the industry, we will not exist. The sooner we realise that the better for the country.”
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He further disclosed that previously, the Manufacturers Associations of Nigeria (MAN) was at cross purposes with the SON based on simple basic things that might not necessarily be even important to the industry, “but now, the association has been able to understand the purpose better and improve on some policies.”
“They can still do better. The industry and the regulators are supposed to synergize, as the industry is the heart of the nation.
“So the industry is very important to the development and the dignity of a nation.
“We cry a lot about the falling Naira; our indices are doing very well. Our currency will not fail if we base our income on our commodity; the chances are that even the industry will not survive because the naira will keep going down. The dollar will keep going up.
“We need to buy and consume made-in-Nigeria products and do away with substandard products in the country. It’s a matter of life and death issue for our nation. It’s a life and death issue for the industry. Every industrialist here understands what substandard good does to their business and their bottomline.
“Some importers bring in substandard goods, some manufacture standard goods in the country and some consumers buy substandard because of the cheapness. These are dangerous to our lives. It’s a chain thing.
Even the effect is a chain thing.
“When an industry closes as a result of fire due to substandard cables, about 1000 people lose their jobs. When 1000 people lose their jobs like 100,000 individuals are in trouble because in our society there is hardly one person who does not have more than 10 people directly or indirectly feeding from him or her.
“So the industry cannot not survive substandard goods,” he said.
The keynote speaker, Chinyere V. Egwuonwu, the CEO/ Lead Consultant Pearlcee Consult Limited,
disclosed that Nigeria was one of the markets with substandard products.
She lamented that the country loses N15 trillion annually to substandard products, adding that the country was fast becoming a dumping ground for substandard goods, which was threatening the economy.
She called on stakeholders to work together to stop the trend.
“We all have a role to play, the fight is for everyone. The public and private partnership is needed to fight the menace.”
She called on the government to make policies that would stop the trend of substandard products in the country.
“The importers should stop importing substandard goods, the local producers should meet up with standards and the consumers should not patronise low quality goods. Tell your neighbours, you see something, say something.”
The high point of the event was presentation of the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) to deserving companies.