By Charles Nwaoguji
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has sought for a better and efficient collaboration with the International Market Association of Electronics (IMAE), Alaba to eliminate influx of substandard Electronics into the country.
This move by the agency was to ensure that Nigerians get value for their hard-earned money spent on purchasing these products, assuring that agency would ensuring that only quality products that meet the minimum requirements of applicable standards prevail in Nigerian markets.
Speaking during a strategic meeting with stakeholders in Lagos, the Director General of SON, Mr. Osita Aboloma, said the agency sought for the support of all the marketers and dealers of imported electronics to guard against the influx of the fake, unbranded and sub-standard products in the markets.
He further said that one of the strategies adopted by SON, is the convening of such interactive collaboration among the key stakeholders to get rid of fake, unbranded and substandard products in our markets.
According to him, SON alone cannot do it; therefore,’we need to work together to provide confidence among the users of the products in our markets through assurance quality and awareness among others’.
Aboloma said that SON operations has improved with the automation of its operations, and that agency now operates more as a business facilitator than that of regulator.
The DG noted that the various quality assurance initiatives put in place by SON including the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) for certification of locally manufactured products, the SON off shore conformity assessment programmme (SONCAP) for imported Products and the Electronic Product Registration for traceability and quality verification, among other policy initiatives.
He explained that all the initiatives were put in place to deliver quality assurance services to Nigerian consumers in order to ensure value for money and safety.
The SON boss assured the Electronics dealers of SON’s total commitment to protecting the lives and property of Nigerians as well as the nation’s economy by ridding the markets of substandard and life endangering products.
He therefore appealed to the Association to support SON with information and intelligence gathering regarding any unwholesome trade practices for prompt regulatory action by the state office, in collaboration with security agencies.
Speaking further he said that the Electrical Dealers Association of Nigeria (EDAN)’s collaboration with SON has been so fruitful, and would like other associations like the International Market Association of Electronics (IMAE), Alaba International Market, Lagos to also urge their members to collaborate with SON to eradicate the menace of fake products.
On his part, the Chairman of the International Market Association of Electronics (IMAE, Evang. Paulinus Ugochukwu, appealed to the agency to assist genuine operators and dealers to remain in business by effective monitoring and enforcement activities in the sub-sector.
According to Ugochukwu,, the association remained committed to complementing the efforts of SON in ensuring the delivery of quality electronics and appliances to Nigerians, amongst other consumable products.
He expressed the association’s concern over numerous complaints of substandard electronics related products, which translate to lack of value for money spent by consumers.
The association chairman also sought SON’s collaboration and intervention in enlightening stakeholders as well as taking the necessary regulatory actions to sanitize the electronics trade sector.
Also speaking the Director of Inspectorate and compliance, SON, Engr. Obiara Manafa, said the agency would be deplaying an aggressive inspection exercise to achieve the target.
He said very soon the standards body would go into markets to take samples of goods for laboratory tests to ensure that unwholesome rlectronics do not get to unsuspecting users and consumers.
He stressed that the objective was to ensure that such fake products are not allowed into the country and the importer are prosecuted to serve as deterrent to others who may wish to do the same.
He also regretted that some importers are faking Nigerian made products by taking samples abroad and asking for substandard version to be made and packaged in the name of the original product which are sold cheaper when brought into the importation of substandard products, importers would be escorted to the warehouses if suspected.
He warned the importers to desist from importing fake electronics into the country as this have serious effects on the consumers and Nigeria economy.