SON targets 30% reduction in sub-standard products with SIM
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has inaugurated a Surveillance Investigation and Monitoring (SIM) unit to reduce the influx of substandard goods into the country by at least 30 per cent before the end of 2018.
The Director General, SON, Osita Aboloma, said the move became necessary for SON to have independent intelligence gathering, monitoring, assessment and intervention from time to time to ensure transparency and accountability, stressing that the unit would also be expected to promote effective service delivery and the targeted turnaround time.
The SON boss during the inauguration of the unit in Lagos, yesterday, said, “We are setting up this Unit for quick turnaround time and for us to achieve the desired result of at least reducing the level of substandard goods by 30 per cent before the end of 2018.
“We are also using this Unit to safeguard genuine manufacturers and importers of goods and services, so we have to prevent the influx of substandard goods into Nigeria against unfair competition while also improving the lives of Nigerians through standards and quality assurance.
“As the need arises, we will evolve our strategies to rise to the occasion and this is the first time we are setting up such unit and we believe it is going to yield a positive result. This is a new innovation and we are stepping up our game into the fight against substandard goods.”
The SON Chief Executive added that the inauguration is in line with the anti-corruption crusade and ease of doing business initiative of the federal government, stating that the SIM will be stationed in Lagos to be headed by the Deputy Director, SON, Isa Suleiman, as coordinator with two sub-units namely operations and administration/logistics reporting directly to the Director General.
He noted that the staff of the unit have been carefully chosen and would be expected to prove their mettle in delivering on assignments.
He said the term of reference for the Unit would include intelligence gathering on substandard, fake and life endangering products throughout the country, maintenance of risk profile and registration of substandard, fake and life endangering products and cooperation and collaboration with the Federal Operations and PAAR Units of the Nigerian Customs Service and other security agencies on information and intelligence gathering, sharing and feedback on matters of substandard, fake and life-endangering products.
He also added that the team would also carry out quality assurance activities and strategic raids, enforcement and regulatory operations to reduce incidences of influx and sale of substandard products on the directives of the Director General and also provide the Director General with periodic data on the reduction of substandard products in Nigerian markets.
In his response, the Commissioner of Police, Criminal Investigation & Intelligence Directorate (CIID), Alagbon, Sabo Ibrahim, pledged the Force’s support to the Unit, saying that the Nigerian public would likely be the gainers of such initiative.
He called on Nigerians to support SON to achieve its mandate, saying that the fight against substandard goods in the country remains a collective effort from all and sundry.
In his response, the Deputy Director and Coordinator of the Unit, Isa Suleiman, said going forward, with the help of security agencies, the terms of reference would be achievable.
“We have been given specific areas of coverage. First of all, it is mainly on life-endangering fake and substandard products nationwide. We are going to use information gathering to achieve our aim and this is why we have collaborations with the key security agencies in Nigeria that deal with vital information,” he said.
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