The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has seized N200 million worth of low gauge aluminium roofing sheets in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
The aluminium roofing sheets, seized from three aluminium companies, were reportedly of lower gauge than the 0.4mm prescribed in the Nigeria Industrial Standards (NIS 488) for aluminium roofing sheets.
According to the Director in charge of compliance at SON, Obiora Manafa, the seizure was the result of the tip-off received by the organisation and weeks of surveillance and monitoring. He also said the roofing sheets were smuggled into Nigeria without SON quality verification and were later tracked to the premises of the companies.
“They were brought into the country from China without passing through the SON Offshore Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP) to ascertain the quality before shipment. There are a lot of negative consequences having such aluminium roofing sheets in the Nigerian markets.
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“Government is denied legitimate revenue, consumers do not get value for money, plus the unfair competition with certified made-in-Nigeria aluminium roofing sheets through low pricing. This unfair competition leads to low capacity utilisation by the local manufacturers, loss of jobs by Nigerians and a general downturn in the nation’s economy,” Manafa said.
The Director also stated that a joint task force has been set up by SON and the Galvanised Steel Manufacturers Association (GISMA) to fight the sales of substandard aluminium and galvanised steel roofing sheets in the country.
He further made it known that the companies involved had been cautioned and fined and that henceforth, any company found with galvanised steel roofing sheets below the prescribed 0.15mm minimum thickness will be prosecuted.
How to avoid substandard aluminium and galvanised steel roofing sheets: Mr Manafa advised Nigerians who want to buy, to either go with qualified engineers or go with the required measuring instruments to verify its standard thickness. Also, it is important to watch the warranty and dealership or origin of the roofing sheets.