By Rukayat Moisemhe
The House of Representatives Committee on Industry has said that the decision to exit the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) from the nation’s ports would lead to the prevalence of fake and substandard goods in the country.
The House Committee Chairman on Industry, Dolapo Badru, said this during an oversight visit to SON laboratory on Thursday in Ogba, Lagos.
Badru said that the law mandating SON to be at the ports would be reviewed.
According to him, customs officials are to collect duty so, they don’t have the requisite skills to ascertain the quality of goods imported.
He expressed satisfaction with the level of work done by the standards body and restated the House commitment to return SON to the nation’s sea ports.
“We will make sure that we do everything within our powers to make sure that SON gets back to the borders, most especially the ports and the airports, because we are concerned with fake and substandard products, especially those products that take lives of innocent Nigerians.
“We have seen lots of buildings collapse these days and most of these collapse are caused by substandard building materials most of which are imported.
“We have also seen most buildings destroyed by fire because of imported substandard cables.
“You do not expect the customs officer to carry out testing and analysis of cables because he was not trained for that,” he said.
He stated that the House would invite the Director General of SON and the Ministry concerned to review the law that mandates SON to be at the ports.
“There is an existing law and I wonder why the law is not complied with. We are going to get to the root of this matter and call for a hearing.
“A lot of building collapse would have been averted, probably a lot of fire outbreaks would have been averted, a lot of deaths would have been averted.
“These things were imported and nobody checks these goods when they come in because the agency that supposed to check the quality of these goods have been evicted from the ports,” he said.
In his response, Director General of SON, Osita Aboloma, commended the House of Representatives for their support, stating that SON has the capacity to create possibilities.
According to him, the agency has invested so much in human capacity development to be at par with its counterparts all over the world.
“We appreciate your keen interest to sending us back to the ports while also creating the enabling environment for effective service delivery.
“If we are well positioned, we will do more; the task to rid Nigeria of substandard products is a responsibility for everybody.
“As members of the Committee on Industry, you are by extension standards ambassadors.
“We implore you to advocate our cause wherever possible because we need to be positioned to enable us carry out our mandate effectively and safeguard the lives of Nigerians through standards,” he said. (NAN)