It said the action became necessary after it discovered through its surveillance activities and extensive survey of the market that most lubricants in the market failed to meet quality parameters of the Nigerian Industrial Standard (NIS).
Its Director-General, OsitaAboloma, at an enforcement exercise to Swiss Park, a haven known for dealing in substandard lubricants in ASPAMDA market, Lagos, said over five containers were seized.
Represented by the agency’s Coordinator, Surveillance, Intelligence and Monitoring (SIM) unit, Isa Suleiman, the DG said the products lack the chemical compositions of the oil which reduce wear and friction even in extreme conditions.
He said: “Before now, we did a lot of surveillance activities where most of the brands of this engine oils and lubricants were sampled and tested and quite a number of them failed including this particular brand we have intercepted.”
According to him the enforcement was also to safeguard Nigerians that would be travelling this Yuletide season by way of ensuring that only lubricants that meet the minimum requirement of the standards are sold in the market. He advised buyers to always insist on purchasing goods from genuine dealers while also looking out for certain marks of quality.
He said the exercise being carried out simultaneously in most of the states nationwide is being monitored by the Director-General and serves as a warning to all sellers and distributors of lubricants to desist from the illicit trade.
“This activity is just the beginning; we are going to follow up while also talking to the market leaders for self-regulation. They have all seen the need to cooperate with SON and other government regulatory agencies to ensure that products meet the required standards,” he said.
According to him, the exercise was sequel to the surveillance it carried out following tip-offs on the influx of substandard lubricants in circulation.
“Today’s outing is specifically designed to take cognisance of the fact that we have an increase in the substandard lubricants. We have conducted surveillance recently where we subjected a number of lubricants to market survey and laboratory test and a number of them failed. So, we are in the shops and other places where these substandard products were found to mop them up, but due to some logistics, the best thing we can do now is to lock them up,” he stressed.
He therefore warned erring marketers that the organization would not relent in its effort to ensure that substandard products were removed out of market and urged the public to always look out for the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) number and logo to ensure that they purchase standard and certified products.
Meanwhile, in Kano and Jigawa, some affected businesses were SACLUX Industries Ltd at Sabon Gari market and Exim Impex warehouse along Maganda Road in Kano city, where such unregistered products were found.
The exercise which also took part in Rivers and Bayelsa also witnessed SON officials swoop on Becmac Limited Lubricant Marketers in Port Harcourt, where drums of branded and unbranded lubricants were discovered.
The SON team together with NUPENG task force raided Mile One, Ikoku, Iriebe/Oyigbo axis of Port-Harcourt, where 12 shops were sealed, 16 drums, cartons and jerry cans of luv oils were quarantined.
The NUPENG leader appreciated SON efforts in ridding the market of spoilers in the line of lubricants and pledged to be of assistance to SON in carrying out its mandate.
Next stop was in Abuja where SON officials discovered the major source of substandard Mobil oil in the FCT during an operation that lasted for seven hours to trace back from the open market back to the major distributor.
The exercise led to the closure of 10 warehouses and shops within the FCT. The major distributor has nine of the ten sealed warehouses and substandard Mobil lubricants of about 700 cartons were put on hold. Other lubricants put on hold were Total lubricant suspected to be substandard, Forte oil, Ammasco, Castel oil, a foreign brand.