The President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Mansur Ahmed, has called on the Standards Organisation of Nigeria to introduce strict penalties for dealers in fake and substandard goods in the country.
The penalties, according to him, will serve as a deterrent to others who seek to indulge in the illicit trade.
Ahmed said this at an interactive session with SON, a statement issued by agency on Wednesday stated.
He reiterated manufacturers’ readiness to partner with SON in order to check the prevalence of fake and sub-standard products across the country, particularly imported goods.
Mansur urged the Federal Government to always encourage and sustain initiatives that would result in economic and industrial growth.
He said such initiatives like the National Strategy for Nigeria’s competitiveness in raw materials and products development; tariff reduction and annual window for MAN members to obtain SON’s certificate for importation of machineries, raw materials and tools, among others, should be sustained.
‘‘In as much as MAN duly supports the backward integration programme of the government, it is our sincere opinion that this meeting will take a critical look at some raw materials that are not presently produced in Nigeria which our members need to import in order to keep their factories working, by classifying these items as essential raw materials and giving them the status of low tariff,” he said.
In his remarks, the Director General, SON, Mallam Farouk Salim, urged trade associations to expose unscrupulous importers of fake and substandard goods, saying that collaborating with SON would reduce the preponderance of substandard goods in the country.
He said going forward, SON would intensify its partnership with MAN to identify genuine local producers, saying that whatever existing benefits the association enjoyed would be improved upon.
“For now we have to collaborate first and come up with an agreeable solution. We have both discussed the challenges we face and we are going to collaborate to address these issues long-term,” Salim added.
According to him, there is a need for MAN members to patronise SON internationally-accredited laboratories for products conformity assessment tests.
He added that any product that passed the tests and analyses in the labs was good to go anywhere in the world.
Enumerating the benefits of standard and quality products to the economy, Salim maintained that such products led to healthy lives and safe environment.
He added that they boost employment generation and job creation, industrial growth, economic growth and development, global acceptability of locally made products as well as overall national development.