SON to commission 20 world-class laboratories to check sub-standard products

Director-General of SON, Dr Joseph Odumodu

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) on Tuesday said it would soon commission 20 world-class laboratories in Lagos to boost its operations in checking sub-standard products.

The Director-General of SON, Dr Joseph Odumodu, made the disclosure at a one-day training programme organised for members of the Association of Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) in Lagos.

Represented by the Director in charge of Inspectorate and Compliance, Mr Bede Obayi, Odumodu said the training became necessary to carry the freight forwarders along in the e-transaction process.

He said the laboratories and other refurbished ones would be put to use to ensure a massive reduction in the importation and production of sub-standard goods that were detrimental to peoples’ lives.

Odumodu said the stakeholders’ engagement was a strategy developed to engender a quick integration of the critical stakeholders to the platform for trade facilitation.

``This is just one of those pillars of the management of SON; stakeholder engagement.

``There is no way we can achieve the mandate of SON if we do not carry the critical stakeholders along in our programmes.

``That is why we have brought up this NICIN programme, which is the Nigerian Integrated Customs Information system.

``This has now made it easy for all our operations to be electronic, especially the maritime operations, in terms of the importation of products into Nigeria.

``So, when you want to import you don’t need to come to SON any more, you just do that from your office by just imputing all what you want.

``In explaining these, we need to train the partners; those who are going to carry out these actions because SON has not changed this process, SON has only added value to the process,’’ Odumodu said.

He urged Nigerians to keep on collaborating with SON to ensure that the right things were done at the right time to safeguard the masses from the dangers of sub-standard products.

The President of ANLCA, Alhaji Olayiwola Shittu, said that the training would help members of the association to key into the e-platform easily and help them in processing of documents.

Shittu said the e-platform was the answer to ridding the system of corruption because it would phase out human interfacing.

He noted that the system would ensure compliance in declaration in due course and do away with unnecessary delays in processing documents.

Shittu described the freight forwarders as mere victims of the situation where they just handled what the importers had brought in by just taking what they have been told in trust.

He said it was sad that a number of importers were only concerned about their profits rather than in the standards of goods they imported.

According to him, the new SON processes of standardisation would check the dangers of sub-standard products for the good of all.

Earlier, while visiting the Headquarters of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) in Lagos,   the SON Director-General disclosed that the organisation had destroyed sub-standard goods worth N10 billion from 2011 to date.

He said they were making efforts to ensure a further reduction of sub-standard goods in the country.

Chief Boniface Aniebonam, the Founder of NAGAFF, urged freight forwarders and clearing agents to collaborate with SON to reduce sub-standard products.