The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has sealed 13 steel factories across the nation for violating standards.
Enebi Onucheyo, chairman, SON’s taskforce on steel disclosed to newsmen on Monday in Lagos, saying that companies in question are located in Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Abia and Edo States.
According to him, the affected companies were shut until further notice following a nationwide market surveillance carried out by the SON taskforce between November 2019 and January 2020.
He said samples of various steel products were obtained from the open market as well as the facilities of the companies during the surveillance period.
According to him, SON classifies steel bars as life-endangering products, and Nigeria Industrial Standards (NIS) provides for unique identification marks for every locally manufactured or imported steel bars for ease of traceability.
“Laboratory tests and analysis carried out on the samples revealed that most of them failed to meet the minimum requirements for diameter and mass per meter as provided in the Nigeria Industrial Standard (NIS 117:2004). These are critical parameters in the standard for reinforcement bars for concrete,” he said.
Enebi further said that the shut down exercise followed earlier warnings to all the steel manufacturing companies after observed infractions with directives to ensure strict compliance with the requirements of the NIS 117:2004.
He also disclosed that some of the companies were found to have tampered with products earlier placed on hold by SON in their facilities while an unregistered identification mark ‘GE’ was discovered in one of the products sampled.
He stressed that the exercise would be a continuous one in furtherance of the SON commitment to protect Nigerian consumers from the dangers associated with substandard and life-endangering products in view of the incessant collapse of buildings and structures across the country.
Enebi added that the exercise was also aimed at ensuring that Nigerian consumers get optimum value for their hard earned money.
Commenting on the standards enforcement activity, Osita Aboloma, director general of SON, pointed out the need to promote quality made-in-Nigeria products preparatory to the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Strict enforcement of conformity to the requirements of the Nigeria Industrial Standards would, according to him, facilitate export, while also preventing dumping into Nigerian Markets.