SON DG, Salim Farouk (file photo)
‘PAM is a digital technology to complement the SONCAP and MANCAP in furtherance of the fight against substandard and counterfeit products in the country’
By Valentine Amanze
The Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) has developed a product authentication model (PAM) to facilitate the verification of the source and quality of products in the Nigerian market.
The new development is part of its efforts to address the challenges of substandard products in the country.
The Director General of SON, Mallam Farouk Salim, disclosed this on Monday, while sensitising stakeholders on the PAM.
Farouk also assured that the organisation would continue to facilitate trade, ensure that importers and manufacturers’ products meet the requirements of the relevant standards, while promoting public safety, and making Nigeria products marketable worldwide.
Also read: Digitisation: ‘ll enhance effective service delivery – SON DG
Farouk, who disclosed that part of the benefits of the model included protection of genuine manufacturers and importers from faking and counterfeiting of their certified products, applauded the organization for having substantially reduced the importation, manufacturing and distribution of substandard products in the country through its Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) and SON Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP).
He however lamented that despite the effort of the organization, substandard products were still being imported, manufactured and distributed in the country by smuggling and some other forms
introducing the model.
The DG explained that the PAM was a digital technology to complement the SONCAP and MANCAP in furtherance of the fight against substandard and counterfeit products in the country, which will in turn increase productivity and result in employment creation that will lead to security improvement.
“This scheme places power to detect or reject substandard goods in the hands of our markets in the hands of our consumers and users of a product.
“It simply uses a QR code or the dial of smart number SMS to 281 to verify the product and to see when the product was made, if it has expiration date, when it’s expiring, where it is made and such information are necessary for the consumer to either buy the product or not to buy.
“This is different from the other types of products that are used by other organizations in the country just like the NAFDAC, where you have to buy the product, scratch the box and then when you discover that it’s fake, you are helpless. You already bought the product.
“You now have to go back and fight with the person who sold it to you. But with PAM, with your smartphone, before you buy the product, you scan it to verify if the product is okay for you to buy or not to buy.
“It will now put SON in a better position to protect our fellow citizens and ensure that we all get value for our money.”
On his part, Mr Shaibu Onucheyo, who presented a paper on the use of the PAM said that the organisation came up with the model to give the purchaser or buyer the opportunity to confirm the authenticity and the quality of the product before payment is made.
“Before now, the buyer must have bought the product, taken it home and put to use because before he or she will realize that the product is substandard, he or she has spent money on it and this does not give them value for their money.
“To achieve this, is as simple as anything because the mark you’ll see there has almost over 10 elements in it that speak different languages. When in language I give you a different sign that this product is authentic or not. So the moment you scan with your QR code, encodes information will display, giving you from the manufacturer to every other information needed to confirm to you that the product you’re about to buy, is of good quality and if it is SMS you send you get an instant response; telling you about our product. The SMS is toll free.”
Ambrose Oruche, who represented the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) embraced the PAM, saying it would go a long way to check substandard products in the country.