The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has embarked on a nationwide mop up of substandard lubricants in a move seen as crucial in safeguarding the lives of unsuspecting consumers as well as boosting Nigeria’s industrialization drive.
Speaking in Lagos during enforcement exercise to raid different markets and warehouses in Lagos in search of adulterated and uncertified lubricants, SON’s director general, Mr. Osita Aboloma underscored the critical role of lubricating products in the nation’s quest towards rapid industrialization and stressed that adulterated lubricants should be got rid off.
The director general who was represented by the agency’s director, inspection and compliance, Mr. Bede Obayi said fake and counterfeited lubricants pose a threat to the nation’s manufacturing industry.
He said lubricants are important to all vehicles, industrial machines of various types, hydraulic systems, electric transformers and other things.
“It is obvious that most of our daily activities depend directly or indirectly on use of lubricants and it is therefore, the massive evacuation of substandard lubricants cannot be over flogged,” he said.
He explained that the agency had been reinvigorated courtesy of its new SON Act 2015 to remove all non-complying products from the nation’s market
“You can see the volumes of lubricants we have seized and they are all engine oil not been certified by SON and once they sell these products that have not been certified they will end up knocking the engines of motor vehicles and other equipment. Any time you use this kind of substandard lubricants, your engine is at risk and also the environment. Today, we have started the evacuation of this non-blended engine oil that is in circulation so that Nigerians will get value for their hard-earned money. This is just the starting off of the operation to remove non-complying lubricant oils from circulation. SON is out to make Nigeria safe for everybody,” he said.
He added that the new rigour was also aimed at improving the capacity utilization of Nigeria’s manufacturing industry.
He disclosed that the said the special raid was targeted at markets and warehouses where suspected substandard products were stocked or sold.
“The special raid is in accordance to our mandate that all non-complying products must be removed from the markets of this country and this special raid is targeted at anywhere we suspect that there is substandard products and this is why embarked on the raiding of warehouses and markets where suspected substandard lubricants are sold to unsuspecting consumers in this country, we also seized cables and textile materials because we want to make this country a place where indigenous manufacturers can come and produce.”
“We do not want these unscrupulous importers to flood this country with substandard products. We want the capacity utilization of Nigerian companies to improve so as to employ the teeming unemployed Nigerian youths and it can only be so when these substandard products are removed from the nation’s market. This is why we have stopped at nothing in getting everything that is suspected to be substandard out of the markets.”
“This is just the starting point and we have not gotten to where we want to be. This is a fight that we are not going to stop until we finish removing most of the substandard products in circulation. It is the mandate of the organization to ensure that Nigerians enjoy safe and non hazardous products whenever they buy products. Today, you have seen that made-in-Nigeria products especially cables have become the order of the day where these importers go abroad to buy imported products and clone them as if they are made in this country and this is what we cannot allow to continue to happen in this country.
The director general added that “this nefarious act discourages genuine businessmen to invest in the country; it also poses danger to Nigeria’s economy while also increasing the unemployment level.”
“Once we remove these substandard products, the Nigerian products would take over and that is when we will be talking of made-in-Nigeria products for the world. We want Nigerians to enjoy made-in-Nigeria products so that once they see made-in-Nigeria products, they will be proud of it and we do not want other countries to dump substandard products on us and that is the essence of this raid,” he added.
He said SON had done so much in the cable industry to ensure that made-in-Nigeria cables are the best all over the world, adding that dealers who specialize in cloning established brands would be prosecuted.