THE Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has said the war against fake and counterfeited products is getting more complex, adding that it remains committed to winning the war.
Its Director-General, Dr. Joseph Odumodu, who spoke in Lagos while unveiling four new logos, said the development invalidated the agency’s previous certification.
The logos unveiled are Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP), SON’s Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP), Nigeria Industrial Standard (NIS) Mark of Quality as well as Nigeria Quality Award.
Odumodu said the war against fake, adulterated, counterfeit and sub-standard products across the country is getting complex, adding that despite this, SON is recording results.
“We need to step up efforts and, indeed, up our game in the on-going campaign to clean the vast environment of life-endangering products. Let me say first and foremost, that our efforts over time have been geared towards attaining one goal: providing safety of lives and property through standard and quality assurance of goods and services. In doing so, we need to continually innovate, think of new ideas and flow with the tide. We equally need to close gaps we have noticed in the system,” Odumodu said.
The SON chief however, gave a six-month ultimatum to manufacturers and importers to key into the agency’s new regulation or pack up, adding that all certificates issued by the organisation to operators have been invalidated following the launch of new quality logos.
“The four logos are part and parcel of our efforts to provide comfortable cover and umbrella to members of the nation’s business community, which of course, include manufacturers, exporters and importers as well as franchise/brandowners of products made overseas but imported into Nigeria,” Odumodu said.
However, President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Dr. Frank Udemba Jacobs, who was at the event, pleaded with the agency to give the manufacturers more time to adjust to the new measures, adding that some products already on the shelves have life span of two years.
He said the launching of the logos was, indeed, a challenge for manufacturers to maintain standard, admonishing consumers to be conscious of the products they patronise.
He commended SON for setting a target to reduce the level of substandard products to 10 per cent by the end of the year, adding that this would make life better for Nigerians.
The Acting Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Alhaji Ajiya Mamman, represented by a Director in the ministry, Mrs Tawa Awobokun gave kudos to SON for its efforts in curtailing fake and substandard products from overwhelming Nigerians and helping to improve the quality of products and services in the country.
She said: “I am commending SON because facts and figures have shown that the agency is saving our time by avoiding taking a cosmetic logo change approach. SON’s underground efforts for improving quality of products and battling substandards, by developing quality infrastructure like test labs, metrology, accredited labs, harmonisation of standards, public awareness, building of human capital both staff and stakeholders through world class training will give a firm foundation for the certification schemes, award and fortification of standards to thrive.”
“We are proud and happy to be associated with these four new logos retooled for better efficiency in enthroning quality and the fortification standards for flour and flour products. We therefore call on all stakeholders, manufacturers, exporters, importers, service providers, SMEs, the media, trade associations and industries to fully key into these initiatives. When we make effort to fight substandards by aligning and cooperating with this re-engineered schemes, award and standards; we will secure genuine businesses from being overtaken by inferior products thereby saving thousands of jobs, we will improve the quality of life of Nigerians, we will protect our life and environment, we will produce products and offer services that the world will jostle to buy, we will improve our chances to compete in the global market, we will ultimately change our world to one we can be proud of.”