…Expresses Readiness For AfCFTA
…Raises Alarm Over Insecurity At Its Warehouse
By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) on Monday destroyed seven containers of tyres, cooking gas cylinders and other goods worth N300million at its warehouse in Amuwo Odofin Lagos.
Director General of SON, Farouk Salim has also expressed readiness of the agency for implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) in order to ensure that Nigeria is not turned into a dumping ground of substandard goods.
Speaking in Lagos, the SON DG lamented that some hoodlums were now crippling into the warehouse at midnight to steal substandard items that have been confiscated, while selling them to unsuspecting Nigerians.
He said the seven containers of tyres were being destroyed because their integrity has been compromised.
DAILY TREND NEWS correspondent who was at the scene observed that the tyres were stuffed into one another in order to allow for large numbers inside a container.
“The tyres and other goods are being destroyed today because they are contraband containers, some are new but are below standard when tested, this means they might likely explode if gas is put inside, they are life threatening to Nigerians”
“I wish there was a way we can send it back where it came from, but we do not have any agreement foreign countries to return back whatever they are allowing people to dump here”
“Technically they are making our country to become a dumping ground where these substandard cylinders would explode and kill people”
“These new tyres were stuffed into one another, it means when you have enough tyre that can fill up one container, you force them into one another and stuff them into a single container”
“Unfortunately, when you do that, the integrity of the tyres have been compromised and they might explode, tyres are not meant for other tyres to be stuff into them”
“Unfortunately, people are stealing them, we have security guards at this facility, but it is not enough to keep them away in the middle of the night to steam them”
“On some of the items, we are still in court to get the judgement against them, but in the main time, people are crawling into the warehouse stealing the wires and selling them, so we are fighting a double edged war” he said
Salim lamented the absence of SON at the port, saying that if the agency was inside the ports in Lagos, 85% of the substandard products would be curtailed.
Speaking on SON’s readiness for AfCFTA, he assured that the agency within its powers have increased surveillance, and is now working with importers association to fish out the perpetrators.
“We are prepared for AfCFTA, we have our standards which are international standard, we dont do things independent of standard obligations, so we are prepared standard wise to watch out for products brought into the country from fellow African countries”
“However, we need more tools like access to the computers of the customs and access to the ports to do our job more efficiently” he said