SON unveils new strategy against sub-standard products
• Issues deadline to manufacturers on compliance • MAN seeks 18-month period of grace
As part of efforts to address the issue of abuse of its mark of quality logo, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has unveiled a new logo and also issued a six-month deadline to manufacturers and importers to comply with the agency’s directive.
The Director General, SON, Dr. Joseph Odumodu, explained that the agency’s new logo will add value and greater impetus towards the agency’s mandate of creating enabling environment and confidence for consumers, manufacturers, exporters, importers and all genuine operators in the various segments of the nation’s economy.
Meanwhile, the president, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Dr. Frank Jacobs proposed an extension by 18 months, saying that there are products already in the market whose shelve lives are more than two years.
“If we say we have to comply within six months, it means those products have to be withdrawn out of the market. SON should give us ample time at least 18 months but at best two years. We really appreciate this initiative but we want to be given enough time to key into it,” he said.
The SON boss during the launch of the logos, said the four new logos will strengthen its fight against substandard, fake and adulterated products in the country, noting the launch serves as an opportunity for the agency to re-engineer its processes by giving only serious-minded businesses access to the agency’s mark of quality.
“Today we are bringing more confidence to the Nigerian consumers so that when he picks up a product the consumer knows which is real and which is not because only those goods that have the right certification will carry these new logos. We are trying to re-engineer our processes because we found out that some of our logos may have been wrongly applied or accessible to unscrupulous people who should not have them. The launch is an opportunity for us to do what I call a house-cleaning,” he said.
He said SON must go the whole hog to stop fakers and counterfeiters, saying that the logos are part and parcel of the agency’s efforts to provide comfortable cover and umbrella to members of the nation’s business community, manufacturers, exporters and importers as well as franchise and brandowners of product made overseas but imported into Nigeria.
He said the launch is also to give manufacturers and importers a six-month ultimatum to comply with the new development, maintaining that with the new logos, locally produced and imported goods must carry the new mark of quality.
“Please, if it is not the original SON’s logo, it is not safe. We need to be on alert; it regards consciousness and meticulous examination of any product(s) we want to buy or deal on. With the new logos locally produced goods must not only meet minimum requirements of the Nigerian Industrial Standards (NIS) but also carry the new Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) and Standards Organisation of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP) logos,” he added.
Indeed, other logos include the Nigeria Industrial Standards (NIS) and the Nigeria Quality Award aimed to encourage local manufacturers compete locally and globally.
Also speaking at the event, a director at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Tanwa Awobokun, who represented the permanent secretary of the ministry, said the launch of the new logos is crucial to the nation’s development and economic well-being , saying that the great step of providing more solid and durable structures via certifications and award schemes will surely improve the nation’s odd in winning the fight against substandard products.
She said the prevalence of substandard or fake products poses harm to the country’s collective existence, safety and well-being, pointing out that it has become vital for the government to fight and defend the nation’s economic territory from these adversaries that threatens the country.