Consumers want SON returned to ports




ABUJA – Some consumers on Friday in Abuja called on the Federal Government to return the Standards Organisations of Nigeria (SON) to the ports.

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They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the increase in substandard products in the market had made the return of SON operatives imperative at the entry points.

They said the presence of SON was needed at those points to complement the duties of the other security and regulation agencies.

Chief Omeya Okoh said the nation’s markets would continued to be inundated with fake and substandard products “because of weak restrictive measures at the sea and air ports”.

According to him, the withdrawal of SON from the ports is inimical to the fight against substandard goods.

“It is better to stop those products at the point of entry than deploying measures to find them after they have entered into the market.

“The current effort of SON at curbing substandard product is, to best of my knowledge, not effective because our markets are flooded with fake goods.

“I call on the Federal Government to return SON to the borders and ports in order to reduce this menace,’’ he said.

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Mr Patrick Aturu said all agencies responsible for discouraging smuggling and illegal trade must be empowered to perform their duties more effectively.

“SON has done very well in the past while they were properly deployed. Their withdrawal from those points should be reversed.

“We have fake drugs, fake tyres, fake cements, and other consumables that are sold in our local markets and this is not healthy,’’ he said.

Alhaji Musa Trekker, however, said SON should be repositioned in a way that it should develop the capacity of its personnel to perform effectively.

“The problems with agencies of government are that there is the temptation for their mandates to be abused due to clash of interests as we see it today.

“The SON, Nigeria Customs Service, Immigration Service and such other agencies established to track movement of goods and services must be strengthened and empowered,’’ Musa said.

Meanwhile, Mr Mathias Bassey, SON Head of Public Relations, said “the Organisation had so far worked assiduously to get rid of substandard goods.

“We have also deployed several strategies and time to educate traders on the dangers of patronising cheap and substandard products. I believe we are winning the war.

“The size of the country poses a serious challenge for the agency to track these goods after they have entered the market,’’ Bassey said. (NAN)

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