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SON disowns ultimatum on product authentication mark

The Management of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has disowned a purported ultimatum to manufacturers and importers on its yet-to-be-launched Product Authentication Mark scheme.

Osita Aboloma, director-general of the agency who confirmed this development explained that the programme is still in the works, awaiting final approval from relevant authorities.

Aboloma urged manufacturers and importers to disregard the purported ultimatum, published in some news media, stressing that adequate notice will be given to stakeholders as usual before any new programme is introduced.

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The Product Authentication Mark, Aboloma explained in a statement on Wednesday, is being conceived to empower consumers in taking informed decisions on the genuineness or otherwise of SON regulated products at the point of purchase.

It is also aimed at helping brand owners fight counterfeiting and adulteration of their products, as well as improve market share and bottom line.

When introduced, according to SON, the programme is expected to complement existing quality assurance initiatives like the offshore Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP) for imported products, the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) for made-in-Nigeria products and the Electronic Products Registration Scheme for developing a database of products in Nigeria for traceability.

The DG further assured stakeholders of SON’s commitment to promoting consumer safety, value for money, product competitiveness as well as ensuring a level playing field for locally manufactured and imported products, in line with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) requirements.

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