By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) on Thursday destroyed sundry gake products including used and new tyres, lubricants, cable wires among others. This is even as the agency has said it is reviewing its Act to ensure peddlers of life-threatening materials are jailed and not fined.
Why addressing newsmen at the SON destruction site located at Amuwo Odofin Lagos, the Director General of SON, Malam Farouk Salim said tthe importers of these products are economic saboteurs who kill industries and people who innocently buy the products.
Speaking on the various seizures he said that they are being destroyed by SON, based on the orders of the court.
“The tyres look new because they have been polished and processed for them to look new, some of them are actually new tyres, but unfortunately when the importer was bringing them in, they stuffed other tyres inside, this has made the new tyres lost integrity and it could blow up on the streets and this is why we are destroying them.
“All these products are a danger to the society, so we are destroying them to ensure that nobody uses them.
“The fakers of the motor oil lubricants intercepted in Calabar used popular products so our Nigerian lubricant manufacturers that are successful have to contain with individuals trying to copy their product.
“Nobody copies a product that is not successful; the only problem is the copying is a bad one.
“The product you are seeing behind does not belong to that popular company. It was being copied and they were taken to court, convicted and the court gave us the permission to confiscate the product and destroy them,” he said.
Salim pointed out that the Nigerian cable industry is successful and good and they help the organization to identify the fake ones.
He said that SON, sometimes, uses their intelligence to fish out the people because their activities were affecting the economy of the country.
“Due to the policy on local content, we need to make sure that our indigenous companies are protected.
“These cables are supposed to be copper but they are either iron or copper coated, when used in building, it gets hot and causes fire,” he said.
On the value of the products, the SON director general said that it ran into billions of naira, adding that they would keep seizing the products to force the perpetrators to stop.
“To your eyes, these products don’t look nice but an unscrupulous person can take them, clean them up, and send them to the market, and make billions of naira from them.
“The seized items are safe in this environment as the place is monitored by police and civil defense 24 hours,” he said.
“In the last National Assembly, we went to them to review our act to make sure that peddlers of life-threatening materials are jailed and not just fined.
“They have passed the law but unfortunately did not get the opportunity for the president to sign it into law.
“So, it is back in the National Assembly and hopefully very soon it will be with the president.
“I am sure the president will sign that amendment and those individuals selling threatening items will be jailed immediately they are caught,” he said.