The Director-General of the Standards Organisatiion of Nigeria (SON), Mr Osita Aboloma, has underscored the importance of collaborative efforts in the fight against substandard products.
Aboloma, who was represented by the Director, Inspectorate and Compliance (ICD), Engr. Obiora Manafa, made the observation at a recent outing in Lagos.
He stated that there was no better way to sensitise the industry than to collaborate with key players who have direct dealings with the importers.
Aboloma said 80 per cent of Nigerian imports came through the seaports and waterways, adding that it would be difficult to ignore operators in the maritime sector in the quest to stem import of substandard and unwholesome products into the country.
He said they were also critical to the furtherance of the Federal Governments Ease of Doing Business initiative.
According to Aboloma, SON’s collaboration with sectorial operators would help to spread the message in the drive towards zero tolerance for substandard, fake and counterfeit products, he said.
He described the forum as an avenue for adequate stakeholders’ enlightenment on SON’s regulatory tools and requirements and to disabuse their minds of negative issues relating to the Organisation’s enforcement of quality and regulations.
He said heads of various activities and departments were on hand to interact with participants on SON’s processes and innovations for importation and clearing of goods at the ports and borders.
The DG stated that SON’s processes and procedure for imports and clearing such as the e-clearance, e-demand note, e-receipt and other electronic mechanisms have become innovative to make them seamless, with reduced human interface and encumbrances, for a more efficient service delivery and quicker turnaround time.
He pointed out that SON’s far reaching regulatory provisions under Act 14 of 2015 from pre-shipment, to warehouses, shops and markets, gives it power to arrest and prosecute importers and dealers in substandard goods in Nigeria.
‘‘SON’s continued advocacy is to reduce substantially, seizure and destruction of goods, which are injurious to human lives, amount to large economic and financial losses and a threat to our environment. Our greatest challenge with cargo clearance is that of false declaration by clearing agents”, he said.
The SON Chief Executive appealed to the stakeholders to desist from false declaration, stressing that measures are in place to intercept such sharp practices and prosecute culprits.