The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has urged Nigerian consumers to always insist on patronising made-in-Nigeria products, noting that the move would help to combat the influx of fake and substandard goods into the country.
The Director-General, SON, Mallam Farouk Salim, at a sensitisation exercise themed “Zero Tolerance for substandard products”, said one of the factors responsible for the thriving market of substandard goods is consumers’ penchant for imported goods.
According to him, local industries have the capacity to meet the nation’s needs, urging Nigerian consumers to always insist on only quality made-in-Nigeria products.
He reaffirmed the agency’s commitment to protect local industries, saying that they are veritable tools for providing job opportunities and creating wealth for the country.
In his words: “The local industry is essentially the heart of the nation and we are the heart of the industry and if the industry is doing well, Nigeria will be doing well.”
“We cry a lot about the depreciation of our currency. If our industries are doing very well, our currency will not fall. If we base our income based on one commodity, even the industry will not survive, because the naira will keep going down while the dollar will keep going up.”
He said the objective of the stakeholders’ forum is to reaffirm SON’s zero tolerance for substandard products in the country.
“It is a life and death issue for our nation. It is a life and death issue for the industry. Every industrialist here understands what substandard goods do to their business and their bottom line,” Salim said.
The SON boss said he is looking forward to a much stronger partnership with local industries in its fight to rid Nigeria of unwholesome goods with no economic value.
“As partners, we will help you succeed and we are not ashamed to say we are partners in the industry. We cannot stop imports because of international laws, but we will protect our local industries from unfair competition.
So, while we ask this industry to continue collaborating with us at a higher level, share intelligence with us, point out those people who tried to destroy businesses, we will do the rest,” he assured.
He pointed out the need to protect local investors who have invested huge funds to establish industries to employ the nation’s teeming unemployed youths, stressing that these industries have the capacity to take lots of Nigerian youths off the streets while also preventing youths from being used as agents of destruction.
“Any industry that survives in the current climate we are going through should be applauded, helped and now we are here to work with our partners to see where we can collaborate, where you can collaborate with us, where we can help you, where you can help us,” he said.
Earlier, the president of Cable Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (CAMAN), Mrs. Bukola Adubi, said SON’s relationship with CAMAN has been cordial, commending SON for the great work in their fight against substandard products in the country.
She stated that Nigeria’s cable is one of the best cables in the world, a feat she said would not be possible without SON’s support for local industries.
She pledged CAMAN’s support to SON in the fight against substandard products in the country while also reassuring the association’s commitment to producing goods that meets the minimum requirements of the Nigerian Industrial Standard (NIS).
On his part, the Assistant Director, Membership service, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Joseph Emoleke, said members and staff of MAN holds the Director General in high esteem for his diligence and efforts to eradicate substandard products in the country.
He however, called on SON to work on the teething areas in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) both parties signed for the development of the nation’s industrial sector.
“Manufacturers are willing to work with you. On our part, we have delisted members we found wanton. Many manufacturers are hesitant to join us because of our high standards,” she said.