The standards organisation of Nigeria, SON, has ramped up measures to stem wide circulation of substandard imported and locally manufactured products.
The quality control agency is also working on ensuring Nigeria’s products are competitive in quality for the purposes of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
Also plans to bring back identification marks to enable consumers check for Quality Assurance in a more sustainable way, the standards organisation is making plans to reintroduce identification marks on products as opposed to current practice where one buys a product and scratch and texts the numbers to a short code for confirmation.
SON says access to Quality and safe product is key to sustaining life and promoting economic growth.
According to Mallam Farouk Salim, Director General of the Nigeria Standards Organization, calibration is having the exact amount of grams in whatever you want to buy in a bag, either 50 or 25grams.
He stated that there are instances where unscrupulous elements purchase extra bags in order to create more bags by taking small quantities from other bags.
Calibration is meant to prevents the industry from losing because the more you produce stuff that you give, more than you’re supposed to give then you lose money and then the consumer is not protected because whatever is coming out of the factory is
Calibration ensures that as long as the industry are playing appropriately, there is no excuse from their machines to provide goods that are below what they’re supposed to be.
Speaking further, Mr Salim noted that the difference between fake products and and the product that is calibrated poorly is very clear.
He said poor calibration is an innocent attempt by the industry to produce a product but it becomes substantive because the machines are not calibrated but when you have individuals deliberately trying to produce fake products, fake substance, that is the issue where things are either imported or produced from the original purpose
they’re already fake.
“You can build a tall building, assuming that you have a certain mass in the Iron and Steel but because it was poorly calibrated, not that it was a deliberate attempt by the industry to produce a substandard product, then the building can collapse based on just poor calibration.
Mr Salim stated that there are currently many substandard products on the market for a variety of reasons, one of which is that our society’s laws are either not fully implemented or do not exist.
“The most recent Act was reviewed in 2015. At the time, one of the changes was that if there was a penalty, you could pay a million naira or two million naira. The million naira seven years ago is not the same as the million naira today.
“One of the things we are doing now is we’re going back to the National Assembly with this same National Assembly to change the language, to put a minimum on the fines so that even in 10 years time, if the naira becomes strong, then we say a minimum of this if it becomes weak a minimum without a ceiling. We can now impose penalties that will harm the individual because anyone trying to sell substandard goods is doing so for profit.
As Nigerians, we must cultivate the habit of returning faulty products to the source. We must be able to escalate issues when bad products are purchased, regardless of the amount.
The problem people tend to forget is the fact that 1 000 naira product if you multiply it by a million that’s a lot of money.
Mr Salim also stated that approximately 85 percent of the products entering the country come from Lagos, particularly Apapa and other ports of entry, and SON officials are not allowed to be in those ports for a variety of reasons, including previous governments’ ease of doing business, because people assumed that if you ask them to allow for inspection, we are stopping them from doing their business.