‘Imported Goods Account For Over 80% Of Substandard Goods In Nigeria’

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), on Wednesday, said imported goods account for over 80 per cent of substandard goods in the country.

This was disclosed by the director general of the organisation, Dr Ifeanyi Okeke, while responding to questions from participants at a general sensitisation on PAM scheme in Lagos.

Okeke who was represented by the director, product certification department, Engr. Onuchenyo Enebi, explained that the programme was to increase awareness of the scheme.

He pointed out that the initiative was introduced by SON to enable consumers verify the authenticity of all SON-regulated products in the markets in its continuous efforts to curb the influx of substandard imported goods into the country.

He lamented that imported goods account for over 80 per cent of substandard goods in the country, bemoaning that the nation’s manufacturing industry is already battling with the lingering effect that substandard goods have dealt on the economy and the myriad of challenges hindering the sector’s productivity.

‘’This scheme places the power to detect, reject and report substandard goods in our markets in the hands of the consumers by simply scanning a QR code with their smart phone or sending an SMS to 281 before they buy. It will no doubt better position us at SON to protect our fellow citizens and ensure that we all get value for our money,” he said.

He said the task to sanitise the nation’s industries and markets is more urgent than ever before, stressing that in line with its mandate and backed with the provisions of the SON Act 2015, to amongst others facilitate trade and ensure that all imported and manufactured products meet the requirements of the relevant standards thereby promoting public safety, improve the lives and security of the citizens of Nigeria, the agency over the years has substantially reduced the importation, manufacturing and distribution of substandard products in the country through its Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) and Standards Organisation of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP) schemes respectively.

“Despite the efforts of the organisation, substandard products are still being imported or manufactured and distributed in the country through the use of fake SON stickers on non-certified products amongst others. To curb this disturbing occurrence in the country, the SON introduced the Product Authentication Mark (PAM) to facilitate the verification of the source and quality products in the Nigerian market. PAM is a digital technology to complement the SON Conformity Assessment Programmes (SONCAP and MANCAP) in furtherance of the fight against substandard and counterfeit products in Nigeria,” he said

According to him, the PAM scheme will place Nigeria at an advantageous position at this time in history when Africa is looking to operate a borderless trade, with the actualisation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), maintaining that

PAM would go a long way to ensure that Nigeria is not a dumping ground for substandard/inferior goods.

Also speaking, the Director, Inspectorate and Compliance Department, SON, Pius Manji, explained that Nigeria, like other countries across the globe, is plagued with the influx of substandard goods.

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