The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) on Monday in Lagos seized three containers of gas cylinders and sealed four warehouses stocked with substandard generating sets worth N400 million.
Bede Obayi, Head of Inspectorate and Compliance Unit, SON, who told journalists that the organisation’s task force made the huge seizure based on intelligence reports, said that the cylinders were being smuggled into the country when the task force intercepted it around Okokomaiko, a Lagos suburb.
He said that the goods had been sampled and sent to the laboratory for a final test. “On the spot examination showed that the goods did not have the necessary import documents and failed the basic standard parameters
“We will take action against the importers by evacuating the goods from the warehouses. We do not want goods that do not meet the required standard to be in circulation,’’ Obayi said.
“We have put a series of measures in place to deter importers of fake and substandard goods into the country. “They no longer have any hiding place, the exit of SON from the sea ports, notwithstanding,’’ he said.
According to Obayi, the importers and manufacturers of substandard goods would be made to face the full weight of the law.
“Why must a sane human being import substandard LPG cylinders into the country and feign ignorance of its inherent dangers to the innocent users when caught by our surveillance team?
“We have the basic procedure and standards for importing cylinders which we consider as life-endangering products. Substandard cylinders can explode and cause huge causalities. So, we do not joke with it,’’ he said.
Obayi said that the organisation’s warehouses had been inundated with seized gas cylinders and other brands of fake and substandard goods awaiting destruction.
According to him, the organisation did not take delight in destroying seized substandard goods because they cost the owners huge money.
“The goods being destroyed had already been paid for upfront. We do it to deter the unscrupulous importers,’’ Obayi said.
He advised importers to ensure that they obtained SON’s Conformity Assessment Program (SONCAP) certificate, as well as have their products registered with SON.
Obayi said the idea behind the introduction of these policies was to forestall using the country as a dumping ground for all manner of unwholesome products.
He said the policies were also meant to create a level playing field for both the local manufacturers and genuine importers.