The Federal Government has asked manufacturers and importers of all products on sale in the country to register them with the Standard Organisation of Nigeria, SON, before the end of June.
Speaking in Abuja while setting up a special task force charged with ridding Nigerian markets of substandard products, Director General of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON, Dr. Joseph Odumodu said the action will start from markets within the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, and its environs from June 5, 2013.
Odumodu who said foreign manufacturers have turned Nigeria into a dumping ground for substandard products, especially electronic products, regretted that several dialogues with the leadership of countries where the products originate from, on the dangers of such products to the lives of Nigerians, have not yielded useful result.
He noted that the country is experiencing a dearth of manufacturing companies. “80 per cent of products consumed in this country are imported from abroad, most of which come into Nigeria from Asia,” he said.
He said the campaign for zero tolerance has now taken a new dimension which informed the theme of the crusade, ‘Next level of campaign against substandard products’. “We are going to work in collaboration with Christabel International Company. During the campaign, we will visit all the markets in Abuja and we will ensure that we remove all the substandard products.
“We cannot condone sales of substandard products and those who we find such products in their possession will be arrested and prosecuted accordingly. A lot of people are dying and others are losing money due to substandard products”, he said.
Odumodu further disclosed that Nigerians waste over N500 million on purchase of substandard electric bulbs annually.According to him, energy saving bulbs imported into the country barely last for two hours instead of the expectant 1,000 hours.
He said, “These bulbs come with heavy metals and there is no way to destroy them and when they are dumped inside the gutter. At the end of the day, they find their ways into water, a situation he attributed to the increased cases of cancer in the country.”
In her remarks, Managing Director of Christabel Int’l Company, Christabel Okoye, said the major challenge confronting the country today is not that of Boko Haram sect, but the effect of substandard products on the country.
Okoye said the nation is flooded with substandard products like electric bulbs and electronics from China, but added that the campaign is a total war against this growing menace. “We will comb all the markets in Nigeria to get rid of substandard products. The war against fake products is more than the Boko Haram war and we are determined to leave no stone unturned to achieve our aim,” she said.