SON has authority to seize substandard goods, arrest importer – DG

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Osita Aboloma, Director General of Standards Organisation of Nigeria

The Director General of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mr. Osita Aboloma, has stated that false declaration, wilful importation of substandard products and importation without SONCAP are very rampant in the system now and vowed that SON would not stop to exercise the power contained in its Act to seize and even arrest importers that violate the import guidelines.

Aboloma made the vow while speaking on efforts of SON to curtail importation of substandard goods into the country at an enlightenment seminar on Ethics and Integrity in Shipping Trade in Lagos recently in Lagos.

Represented by Engineer Obiora Manafa, Director of Compliance, SON, Aboloma said ”It is disheartening to note that the unsavoury issues of false declaration, wilful importation of substandard products or importation without undertaking of offshore conformity assessment (SONCAP) process are still very much in practice. The SON has been battling tooth and nail to curtail these non-conformities.

”We want to reduce importation of substandard products. Many importers of substandard products are doing willing. We are appealing to them to stop it as SON is empowered by the law to confisticate their products and even arrest them,” noted the director general who noted that the organisation has used massive sensitisation to enlighten importers on the danger of non-conformity.

To make importation simple for importers and clearing fast and cheap for customs agents, the SON boss informed all import and clearing procedures have been simplified, transparent, harmonised and standardised in compliance with the Ease of Doing Business.

Aboloma noted that all processes/requirements, timeliness and service charges are published on SON website to promote transparency, adding that all the operations are electronically done like e-SONCAP, e-MANCAP, e-product registration, e-demand note and e-cargo clearance

Speaking on the harmonisation, the SON boss noted that SON is in synergy with all the relevant government agencies like Customs and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), saying ”as for the Nigeria Customs Service on port clearance, SON is already on the NICIS platform online for access to support clearance of imported goods.”

In the area of standards, the director general said SON would continue to do the right thing to save the nation from decadence and the dangers associated with the importations and distribution of substandard products.

”In line with our culture, we do hope that we shall find comfort in doing what is right at all times in order to save our nation from decadence and the danger of associated with the importation and distribution of substandard products in Nigeria.

”Standards Organisation of Nigeria is committed to providing standards and quality assurance for all products, services and processes in Nigeria in line with international best practices to ensure continual improvement,” Aboloma noted.

Commending the management of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council for the partnership in the fight against importation of substandard products, Aboloma assured a continual partnership with all stakeholders.

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