By Merit Ibe
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) yesterday, destroyed substandard LPG cylinders and tyres worth about N300 million, noting that these goods failed the minimum requirement.
The Director General of the organisation, Mallam Farouk Salim, at the destruction exercise in Lagos, said the goods destroyed were classified as life-endangering and unfit for use.
Salim, said he wished the products could be returned to the country of origin, adding that the products were destroyed because some of them were contraband and below standard after they were tested.
“I wish there was a way we can send them back to where they are coming from but, unfortunately, we don’t have agreement with these countries. Regretably, this is turning the country to a dumping ground.”
The SON boss explained that despite efforts aimed at curbing the menace, these goods still find their way into Nigeria, reaffirming SON’s commitment to leave no stone unturned in its fight against substandard goods.
He reiterated the need for SON officials to be at the ports to ensure that such substandard and dangerous goods do not find their way into the country.
“85 per cent of goods coming into the country come through the Lagos ports, so, if we are able to work effectively in Lagos , we will minimise the problems.”
According to him, the integrity of the tyres were compromised and would likely explode while in use.
He said six to seven containers were stuffed with one tyre stuffed with five tyres, saying a container that was supposed to take 1,000 tyres conveyed about 5,000 tyres, which eventaully affected the integrity of the tyres.
“The tyres are not meant to be stuffed inside each other. You can put tubes in the tyres because it does not effect the integrity of the tyres. They were compromised because five other tyres were stuffed in one, which is bad. We want to stop the incidences of tyres bursting while in motion.”
On cylinders, he said a lot of safety precautions must be considered by importers, as a high technical product. “Any importer should not engage in the importation of cylinders without following the due process because we ensure that for cylinders to be imported, there must be approvals from SON. Importers must also consistently meet the requirement of the standards.
“We are here to destroy some substandard goods seized from some importers and marketers. Goods to be destroyed include cylinders and tyres. The goods we are destroying are the ones that failed the critical parameters and we cannot allow them to get into circulation because they are life-threatening.”
According to him, these goods came from different sources where some were evacuated from warehouses, intercepted on the high ways, adding that the organisation does not destroy products without court’s approval.
“We are not happy destroying these goods because it is a loss, not only to the importer but to the nation.”
On preparedness for AfCFTA he said “we are increasing the surveillance and working with importers, because some just import the wrong goods.
“We are prepared. Our standards are international. We are watching out for products brought into the country from other African countries, China or Asia. We need more tools to be made available to us like access to the ports, computers to do our jobs more efficiently.”