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SON raids markets, seizes fake tyres, others

SON Director General, Dr Ifeanyi Okeke | File Image

SON raids markets, seizes fake tyres, others

Okeke said that SON had been successfully repositioned by significant re-invigoration of the war on fake and substandard products for better results.

By Valentine Amanze

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has demonstrated its ability to minimise domestic and road accidents in Nigeria, with the seizure of fake and substandard tyres, solar batteries and baby feeding bottles products worth billions of naira in Lagos.

The substandard products were evacuated from the warehouses located in various markets in Lagos State as part of efforts to rid the country of unwholesome products.

SON Director General, Dr Ifeanyi Okeke, who disclosed this in Lagos, explained that the tyres damaged because they were stuffed into one another in containers for shipment.

Okeke, who was represented by the Director, Inspectorate and Compliance, Department, Mr Pius Manji, during the raid, said the evacuation was to prevent the tyre from entering into the nation’s market.

He further disclosed that the products were tested but failed the critical parameters as a result of stuffing.

His words: “The act of stuffing tyres into one another instead of bringing it in different containers rendered the tyres dead on arrival into the country.

Also read: Rapid industrialization of Nigeria is my mission, says SON DG, Okeke

 “If they are to bring 2,000 tyres in one container, they will now have the opportunity to bring in 8,000 tyres and in doing that, this compromises the quality of the tyres.

 “The tyres are made of wires and carbon and the test reviewed that the textile strength of the tyres had been compromised. So they are no more fit for use; and this is why we are going to destroy them. They may look nice in the eyes, but we rely on scientific investigation and analysis.”

Substandard tyres | File Image

The SON boss also pointed out that solar batteries seized were fake from known brands; but could not withstand the rigours of the different quality testing, hence no longer safe for public use.

“These solar batteries are very expensive; so consumers must have value for the money. The world is going fossil energy; we will discourage anything that will hinder Nigerians from getting it right,” he said.

Okeke lamented that it was scandalous that some bad elements can go as far as producing counterfeit baby feeding bottles just to make more money.

He urged “the bad elements” involved in the heinous crime of importing adulterated products to look elsewhere as the SON has zero-tolerance for product counterfeiting.

Okeke said that SON had been successfully repositioned by significant re-invigoration of the war on fake and substandard products for better results.

Okeke, however, explained that SON was the federal government’s agency vested with the responsibility of standardising and regulating the quality of all products in Nigeria.

He said SON Act No 14 of 2015 gave the organisation power for enforcement, seizure, confiscation and destruction of sub-standard products, including powers to seal-off premises where such defective products are manufactured, stored or sold.

He noted that under his watch, the SON would frontally confront architects of substandard products and make business miserable for them.

The organisation, he noted, has set machinery in motion to encourage participation of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) in the standardisation and review process to ensure improved competitiveness of Nigerian goods at home and abroad by encouraging quality assurance practices.

Besides, he said that the organisation now provides information, enlightenment, advice and assistance to industries to match the required competitiveness in global trade and to motivate the workforce through steady investment in human resource development for acquisition of skills in line with latest technology.

In view of the danger the criminal activities of those dealing in substandard and counterfeit products poses to the lives and wellbeing of Nigerians, the Okeke said SON has deployed modern electronic platforms to tackle the menace.

The platforms include the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme, MANCAP, for locally manufactured products; the off-shore Conformity Assessment Programme, SONCAP, for certification of imported products from source; Product Registration for documentation and traceability of all products in the market and library services for access to relevant standards for local production, import and export with ease, among others.

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