The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has seized sub-standard aluminium roofing sheets worth over N38 million in a move to ensure that only goods that conform to the Nigerian Industrial Standards (NIS), are allowed in the market.
The Director, Inspectorate and Compliance, SON, Obiora Manafa, at an enforcement exercise in Ogba area of Lagos, explained that the seized roofing sheets fell below the NIS 180 standard for a galvanised roofing sheet that stipulates the minimum thickness of 0.15mm.
In his words: “The objective is to evacuate substandard roofing sheets from the market. We are moving all of them away for destruction. The taskforce was given a term of reference, but the overall mandate is to eradicate substandard products from the Nigerian market.
“The roofing sheets are substandard, because if you look at the standard for galvanised roofing sheet NIS 180, it stipulates the minimum thickness for the product and the minimum thickness is 0.15mm, but most of the galvanised roofing sheets we have here, fell below the standard, and this is what we do not want to allow into the Nigerian market.”
He said going forward; SON will go through every nook and cranny of the country raiding markets, warehouses, adding that the aim is to protect unsuspecting consumers while also adding value for money spent on purchasing goods.
“If you use this kind of roofing sheet for your structure, any little wind would destroy it and this is what we do not want to encourage. So, we are appealing to Nigerians, especially importers and our local manufacturers, also to stick to the NIS 180. We have valued this one to be around N38 million, and we are still going to seize more. This campaign is going to continue in the country.
“We are appealing to everybody not to waste their money buying substandard goods, because if you continue dealing with this product, SON will seize and destroy them. We are not happy to destroy these products because it is a loss to the economy, but we have to protect Nigerians which is our primary responsibility,” he said.
He said the seized goods were smuggled into the country as they do not have SONCAP certificate, noting that products such as the seized items must not come into Nigeria unchecked.
“Our Independent Accreditation Firms (IAFs), who we appointed to do inspection activities on our behalf must have tested them, and ensured that they comply with the standards. Even if they beat us at the port, we will go after them in the markets and warehouses. Right here in the warehouse, we have conducted a lot of tests on these products; we have our micrometer screw gauges which we use to check the thickness,” he added.
Also speaking at the event, the Coordinator, Surveillance Intelligence and Monitoring Unit (SIM), Suleiman Isa, said the goods will be destroyed and recycled, pointing out the enforcement exercise would be a national activity.“We have succeeded in loading the substandard products and we are about to take them to our warehouse. The next line of action is destruction and recycling, which will be determined by the management of SON.
“This is going to be a national activity and it will be happening on a continuous basis. We are also using this opportunity to advise all importers and even the local manufacturers to ensure that they meet the minimum requirements of the standards for these products.
Failure to do this, their products will be seized and destroyed,” he said.“We have been carrying out sensitisation programmes to enlighten people on the dangers of substandard products, but the issue is that people go for inferior products because of the price and at the end of the day the cheap products are not cheap, but expensive,” he added.