THE Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dolapo Badru has reaffirmed the committee’s commitment in returning Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) not only to Nigerian ports, but also to the nation’s land borders.
Badru, who made this affirmation during the oversight function of the committee in Lagos at the weekend, stated that Nigeria has been overwhelmed by fake products being dumped on her.
He said, “We have standards, but the enforcement should be at the point of entry which is the ports and the land borders. There is an existing law and I wonder why the law is not complied with? We will do everything within our powers to make sure that SON gets back to the borders, especially the sea ports and the airports, because we are so overwhelmed in the country with fake and substandard products, especially those products that takes lives of innocent Nigerians.”
The lawmaker however assured that the committee would get to the root of the matter, adding that the house will call for a hearing.
He also hinted of plans to invite the Director General of the Agency, Mr. Osita Aboloma as well as the supervisory Ministry to come and explain to the house what is really happening to the existing law which mandates SON to be at the port.
“These fake things were imported and nobody checks these goods when they come in because the agency that supposed to check for the quality of these goods have been evicted from the ports. We are going to work with the ministry and the executive to make sure SON gets back to the ports.”
He urged SON to up the ante on their sensitisation, adding that the public is the end users and they are also the victims of these substandard goods.
“The main point of this visit is the absence of SON at the seaports and airports and this allows for substandard products being dumped on us. Nigeria has become a place where anything can be dumped just because the people who are supposed to check for standards are absent. We have resolved that within the short time working with the executive and ministry concerned we will get SON back to the ports. We will support SON in their quest to carry out sensitisation activities in the country.”
In his response, SON DG, Mr. Osita Aboloma, “You have seen our laboratories and our capacity to test for conformity to standards. We have the capacity to create possibilities. We have invested so much in human capacity development to be at par with our counterparts all over the world. We appreciate your keen interest to sending us back to the ports while also creating the enabling environment for effective service delivery. If we are well positioned we will do more.
“The task to rid Nigeria of substandard product is a responsibility for everybody. As members of the committee on industry, you are by extension standards ambassadors. We implore you to advocate our course wherever possible because we need to be positioned to enable us carry out our mandate effectively and safeguarding the lives of Nigerians through standards.”
The DG noted that SON will continue to put in its best to safeguard the lives of Nigerians through quality assurance and standards.
Aboloma pointed out that with the little resources at the agency’s disposal, SON has done so well but there is always room for improvement, assuring Nigerians that if they have an enabling environment for effective service delivery, they will do more.