SON decries rise in volume of imported substandard goods

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has expressed concern over the rising volume of imported substandard goods at the nation’s seaport.

Farouk Salim, director-general of the SON, who expressed this worry in Lagos during a recent stakeholders’ sensitisation forum tagged, ‘Standards Save Lives, Grow Economy,’ said Nigeria’s economy cannot survive if the importation of substandard goods continues to thrive without government intervention.

According to him, without the implementation of the appropriate laws that would prosecute importers of fake products, the economy will continue to suffer as local businesses face challenges of unhealthy competition.

Noting that there is no one tracking importers of substandard goods in Nigeria, Salim said the essence of the sensitisation with stakeholders was to share views on how to make businesses more efficient.

While expressing fear that the influx of substandard goods will further kill local manufacturing, Salim said that such would force many industries to close shop leading to job losses, unemployment, and a high rate of insecurity in the country.

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He, however, called on stakeholders to join forces to prevent the possible occurrence of such economic issues by putting an end to the importation of substandard goods.

Delivering a presentation on ‘Juxtaposing Substandard Imports SON’s Absence at Seaport,’ Kayode Farinto, vice president of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), said SON vacated the seaports about a few years ago, with the approval of the government to allow the Agency do the role of regulation outside the ports.

Farinto said the trend must be arrested urgently by providing a solution in order to save the nation’s economy.

He however advised freight forwarders to do away with dishonesty in their declaration, and avoid concealment in order to remove all impediments to ease of doing business.

Tochukwu Ezisi, president of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), who was represented by Emma Agubanze, his Chief of staff, called for more stakeholders’ engagement.