The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) in Thursday said discussions were in the final stages to ensure that from 2015, all imported products would carry the Nigerian Industrial Standard (NIS) mark to curb the menace of substandard goods flooding the nation’s markets and threatening local manufacturers. At the moment, only locally manufactured products carry this mark.

The Director General of SON, Dr. Joseph Odumodu, said the move, being undertaken in collaboration with the Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria (MAN), is to beam the floodlight on the imported products and ensure that they carry certification marks after due testing has been carried out by SON. The SON Chief Executive, during a special interactive session with manufacturers in Lagos, called on them to contribute their own quota to ensure that the initiative succeeds.

According to him, all hands are on deck to ensure that only goods that are certified will be paraded in the Nigerian market. “The level of substandard goods that come into the country is about 95 per cent of the total fake products in the market. In other words, when we impound 100 units of fake and substandard products in the market, 95 of them are imported products, made in other countries. “Most products produced in Nigeria meet the minimum standards. I try to draw a correlation between that and local production, I want to say that you do not need anybody to prove it to you that Nigeria is going through a silent de-industrialisation process. It has happened in the last 25 years and it has continued to happen.

“All we have done in SON is intervening in the process but it has not stopped but continued to exacerbate. What this means is that employment opportunities are limited and industrial growth is challenged.” What we are trying to do is reduce the level of substandard goods in the country by creating a very strong enforcement regime to the displeasure of people who have made billion of naira from the situation we found ourselves,” he added. He also decried the continued patronage by consumers of substandard goods, pointing out that these goods have continued to thrive in the Nigerian market because consumers do not take the pain to check goods before purchase.

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