Notwithstanding the closure of the land borders by the Federal Government, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), has said many substandard goods still enter the country through the seaports, as the agency yesterday, destroyed N480 million worth of such goods.
SON however noted that plans are underway to increase its engagement with importers and consumers, to discourage the importation of substandard goods with no economic value.
The Director, Inspectorate and Compliance Directorate, SON, Obiora Manafa, stated this on the side-lines of the destruction of substandard mobile phone accessories worth over N480 million in Lagos.
“Destroying these goods is not even good for the environment apart, from the economic loss for the country. We collaborate with markets and associations to sensitise importers and consumers so that they can do the right thing. We are trying to be proactive instead of being reactive like this one to stop them from importing these goods.
“It is a continuous exercise; we will continue to create that awareness on the importance of importing goods that meet the minimum requirement of the standards,” he said.
Beyond destruction, he said there are sanctions and punishments for importers of such products as many of these importers have been prosecuted.
“We have so many cases in court, and our Act empowers us to prosecute them. Although some of these goods are coming through the seaports and some through the borders, the influx has reduced as a result of the border closure.
He said the destruction would serve as a deterrent to unscrupulous importers, who indulge in illicit trade to short-change unsuspecting consumers of their hard-earned money spent on goods and services.
Manafa said SON is on top of its game to ensure that these goods do not find their way into the Nigerian market, stressing that the safety of lives and property of Nigerians is of great importance to it.
According to him, the importers of the substandard mobile accessories have offended by faking known brands, stating that the negative impact on the investment of the original brand owners is huge.
He reiterated that the management of SON cannot allow these products to enter the Nigerian market, saying that the products were destroyed after obtaining a court order.
“These products are valued to over N480 million. We are not happy burning these products because it is a loss to owners.