Arrest of Containers: Finally, SON replies NAGAFF


The Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) has finally responded to the allegation of arresting containers on the high way by its enforcement unit leveled against it by the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) saying that it has the mandate to cub the influx of sub-standard product into the Nigerian markets.

It will be recalled that the Founder of NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam had argued that the Act establishing SON did not give it the mandate to arrest containers duly released and exited by the Customs from the port on the roads rather to follow such suspected containers to the owners’ warehouse to make arrest.

Aniebonam therefore accused SON of contravening the law which he said was responsible for many importers losing their consignments to hoodlums who operate under the cover of the Enforcement Unit of the organization to perpetuate their crimes.

Speaking in a statement issued to newsmen on Wednesday, the Director of Enforcement and Port Operations, Engr. Bede Obayi averred that since the importers had devised new ways of bringing in sub-standard products into the country, the Organization was left with no option than to come up with new methods to put their activities under check.

Obayi noted that the mandate given to the Director-General of SON, Dr. Joseph Odumodu by the Federal government was to rid the country of the incidences fake, adulterated and sub-standard products adding that SON had been carrying out the mandate with utmost dedication.

He disclosed that more strategies were being fine-tuned to make sure that Nigeria and Nigerians were not consumed by fake and sub-standard products even as he said that SON was yet to utilize all of its powers given to it by the Act establishing it.

He further stated that SON would never engage in any wrongful duty with the intent to obstruct the right of the importers to carry out their legitimate business insisting that the organization must carry out its constitutionally recognized functions.

He said, “how can you have a container which was moving by the night when you know it carrying sub-standard goods or did not even register those goods with the SON? They said we should go to their warehouses, as you know some Nigerians who are bent on not doing the right thing, if we allow such good to get to their warehouses by night, by morning, the goods are no more and as you know, the goods will be sold to Nigerians whom we are to protect. As patriotic Nigerians, if we allow such, then we are not carrying out our mandate”.

Speaking on why SON could not link up to the Nigerian Trade Hub portal of the Nigeria Customs Service to carry out the verification of products imported into the country, he informed that SON was working to develop its own platform in order to fully operate its own online portal saying that in the mean time, they have to protect Nigerians.

He further maintained that since the SON’s Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP) certificates were being forged by fraudsters in collaborations with the manufacturers abroad, the organization had decided to issue SONCAP Certificates in Nigeria whenever the importer produced his product manufacturing certificate to them.

Engr. Obayi said that all these measures were aimed at checkmating the influx of sub-standard products into the country.


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