Influx of fake goods : stakeholders want immediate return of SON to seaports

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Influx of fake goods :  stakeholders want immediate return of SON to seaports

* As freight forwarders express concerns on dangers of consuming fake products

The stakeholders, as well as Freight Forwarders in the maritime industry have called for immediate return of Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to the seaports.

They said that SON must return to the nation’s ports, in order to stem the tide on influx of fake and sub-standard goods into the country.

The Freight Forwarders made this called at the occasion of stakeholders’ sensitisation programme, held in Lagos, with a theme; ‘Standards Save Lives, Grow Economy’.

During deliberation at the programme, importers and freight forwarders expressed displeasure on incessant cases of sub-standard goods being smuggled into the country through the seaports.

According to them, the presence of SON is needed at the ports as a matter of urgency, to curb influx of fake products into Nigerian economic environment, to the detriment of unsuspecting consumers.

Participants at the forum also expressed concerns on the health hazards and economic implications of sub-standard goods flooding the local markets.

More so, stakeholders emphasised that SON is the agency saddled with the primary responsibility of enforcing standards, as such, its presence at seaports would curtail influx of fake items into Nigeria and allow sanity in the system.

Speakers at the forum stressed that the Executive Order of the Federal Government banning SON from the seaports must be reversed for the agency to resume its duty of enforcing standards, starting from the seaports where imported products land before being distributed to the local markets and retail outlets.

In his remarks, the Director General of
SON, Mallam Farouk Salim, pointed out :
“At present, no one is tracking importers of sub-standard goods in the country. They allow us once in a while to check imported goods but that is not how it should be done. This is because SON as an agency should not depend on the kindness of other organisations to carry out its statutory functions at the ports.

“The 2015 Act, Section – 7 says that Standards organisation must be at the ports of entry into the country”.

The SON boss, who attributed the high rate of insecurity in Nigeria to importation of sub-standard goods,
explained that the forum was important to share ideas and deliberate on how to make business more efficient.

He maintained: “To win the war against importation of sub-standard products into the country, the Executive Order has to be reversed for SON to be at the seaports always”.

In the same vein, the Vice President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Dr Kayode Farinto, said for Nigeria to win the war against importation of fake goods into the country, SON must return to the seaports.

Farinto, who spoke on the topic; ‘Juxtaposing the Absence of SON from the Seaport and the Worsening Influx of Substandard Products’, said the absence of SON at seaports paves the way for smuggling fake goods into the country through the seaports.

He warned that if urgent steps are not taken for SON to be at seaports, this illicit trade would bring serious economic implications on Nigeria.

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