The country’s standards regulating body, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria ( SON) has called on the management of the leading foam and related products in Nigeria, Vitafoam to collaborate with it in the war against counterfeiting.
The Director General of SON, Mallam Farouk Salim who made the plea when the SON management team paid a courtesy visit to the company in Lagos on Thursday.
Salim opined that counterfeiting of local products is fast killing Nigerian companies adding that this has led to serious banditry, kidnapping and other security issues.
The SON boss went down the memory lane to say that in the 70s and 80s, Nigeria manufacturing industries was the pride of Africans adding that many Nigerians who went to further studies in Europe and the United States of America, are always rushing back to Nigeria to work in the country’s thriving manufacturing companies.
“I can still remember in the 70s and 80s, when our people were going to school in Europe and America but quickly returned to work in our manufacturing companies.
Most of those companies have folded up due to the activities of counterfeiters.
“We are here to plead with you to collaborate with us in our efforts to repositioned our manufacturing companies.We are going back to the National Assembly to seeks for the review of our Act to enable us get some percentage of your taxes to boost our work”, he disclosed.
Salim opined that his agency’s functions are unique but not supported financially by the companies noting that the federal government only pay their salaries but source funds for their functions internally.
He requested Vitafoam Plc and other manufacturing firms to support the agency position by the time it goes to the National Assembly to seek to review its Acts by next year.
The SON DG said that his agency is not asking for an additional taxes even as he insisted that all he is pleading for is a percentage of the existing taxes to go to his agency to help in provision of vehicles and laboratory testing equipments.
Salim postulated that the agency’s offices in Ogba, Kano, Jos and elsewhere are ready to support the manufacturing companies the way it has collaborated with the Lubcon and Cables subsectors saying that SON is ready to assist any subsector that is willing to collaborate with it.
“We are going to the National Assembly to plead for the review of our Act. We are going to ask for a percentage of your (manufacturing companies taxes) to come to us to help us get more sophisticated testing equipments to help us combat counterfeiting in Nigeria. The federal government only pay our salaries, we source for funds for our equipment from the internally generated funds.
“You can buy vehicles and testing equipments for us to aid us serve you better, like the Lubcon Oil and Cables Wires have done for us. Today, their sectors are enjoying the benefits of their collaborations with us,” he stated.
Responding the Managing Director of Vitafoam Nigeria Plc, Mr Taiwo Adeniyi said that Vitafoam is the biggest foam manufacturing company in Nigeria adding that despite the fact that his company is the only foam manufacturing company quoted on the Nigeria Stock Exchange in 2010, it diversified to manufacturing many other products apart from foam.
Adebiyi said that through the company’s past collaboration with SON, it has the largest laboratory in the manufacturing sector noting that other local foam manufacturing companies also utilise the activities of his firm’s laboratory due to the important roles it plays in the sector.
The Vitafoam Plc boss said his company also collaborate with the University of Lagos to established a well equipped laboratory which other foam manufacturing companies and producers of other allied products can go and carryout their equipment testing at Lagos State University.
He disclosed that himself and his management team visited Ariara Market, Aba and Kano main market were they had a first hand experience of how Vitafoam Nigeria Plc foams were being counterfeited unhindered.
He, however, promised that the company welcome the visit of SON management adding that their door is wide open for partnership and collaboration with SON.
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