The Director General/Chief Executive Officer of the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) Mr. Joseph Odumodu, is constantly in battle mode as he endlessly slugs it out with unrepentant importers and producers of substandard products in the country.
Although, the agency has declared zero tolerance for substandard products, he insists there should be some innovative and electronic ways to deal with the perennial challenge, hence the launch of some e-commerce products aimed at both promoting legitimate trade facilitation and checking corruption by reducing human contacts with officials of SON in course of importing and exporting goods at the ports.
Odumodu said the integration of its electronic certificates (e-certificates) into the Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System (NICIS) for the processing of SONCAP Form M and the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) has made its services as seamless as possible.
On the issue of substandard goods, The battle against fake and substandard products is an ongoing one. When I came on board as the DG, we decided to look at a number of areas that could help us deliver on our mandate as well as improve the economic fortunes of both the State and its citizenry. In doing so, we did not lose sight of our primary task of reducing to the barest minimum the incidence of sub-standard products circulating in our markets. It is heart warming to state that today, the volume of such products has dropped from 80 per cent to 40/35 per cent and courtesy of our operation flush, we are determined to bring the percentage down to 10 per cent by the end of the year. This, however, requires the co-operation and collaboration of all of us because as it is said in the International System, threat to one is threat to all, hence, the need for collective security. All life danger products must be eliminated completely from our shores and environment because they remain unsafe to lives and property even as they are disincentives to investment, employment and economic drive.
To evan make our job easier and to help importers, we now plan to designate certain ports for certain products. For example, Apapa port will be the only port for cables. If we see it anywhere else like in Seme, or even Tin can that is nearby, we’ll remove and destroy without even court mandate.