The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has given manufacturers and importers of steel products three months to evacuate fake and substandard steel products in the country.
Besides, the agency acknowledged the vital importance of producing steel products that meets the requirements of the standards, noting that steel products are key materials used in building bridges, houses and as such, must pass the quality threshold to safeguard lives and property.
The Director General, SON, Mallam Farouk Salim, at a stakeholders’ meeting stated that Nigeria Industrial Standard (117) for steel products must be adhered to, while sounding a note of warning to steel companies and importers to recall any substandard steel bar they have in the market before the expiration of the ultimatum
”We want to also warn any steel manufacturer caught circumventing quality assurance requirements. Henceforth defaulters will be prosecuted in line with the SON Act 14 of 2015. We are giving this warning because the life of every Nigeria is important; any product that will destroy lives and property is not worthy to be in the Nigerian market”, Salim said.
He added that compliance to quality and standards would guarantee local and international patronage of steel products made in Nigeria while also building the confidence of Nigerians in purchasing goods and services in the country.
“I understand that the steel manufacturers undermine one another through the production of substandard steel reinforcement bars under the name and code of rival firms and competitors. Such act is not acceptable and it is to the detriment of the unsuspecting end-users who buy and use the products. We also warn you to desist from tampering with any consignment put on hold by officials of the agency for suspected infractions during investigation and quality verifications, such acts by anyone in the steel or other sectors will face the wrath of the law,” he warned.
He restated the agency’s commitment to ensure the safety of lives and property of Nigerians, part of which informed its recent nationwide monitoring of steel production.
“We are concerned over the non-compliance of key stakeholders in the industry; the agency will stop at nothing to bring sanity to Nigeria’s steel sector. Players producing without regards to NIS 117 will not be tolerated”, he said.
He said the federal government has been working tirelessly to support and expand steel manufacturing export in order to improve foreign exchange earnings.
“We are assuring genuine manufacturers of SON’s resilience and doggedness to protect local production from unfair competition,” the Director General added.
According to the SON boss, steps are underway to harmonize standards for steel production across West Africa, this will avail steel manufacturers the opportunity to produce and export to different countries within the region.
“We urge manufacturers to imbibe the culture of self-regulation and monitoring, it will help to prevent standards infractions,” Salim added.
He told the steel stakeholders that the National Metrology Institute (NMI) of the standards body has taken delivery of additional weight standards to boost the ongoing calibration of various weighbridges in use in the country.
The SON Chief Executive Officer disclosed that the investment is in line with its determination to ensure equity in business and control rapid wear and tear on roads and machine.
Salim urged the steel manufacturers to make use of the facility by ensuring their test machines and bridges are calibrated as and when due.
He stressed that SON investment in NMI was to increased capacity in furtherance of implementing the federal government’s directive to ensure that all axle load weighbridges are properly monitored and maintained throughout the country.
He recall that the government through the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing and its Transportation counterpart recently directed SON to commence calibration of all axle load weighbridges in Nigeria as part of measures to protect the roads from excessive loads by cargo trucks and trailers.
The NMI has since commenced the activity with the calibration of axle weighbridges exercise.
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