By Merit Ibe
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has given manufacturers and importers of steel products three months to evacuate fake and substandard steel products in the country.
Besides, the agency acknowledged the vital importance of producing steel products that meet the requirements of the standards, noting that steel products are key materials used in building bridges, houses and as such, must pass the quality threshold to safeguard lives and property.
Director General, Mallam Farouk Salim, at a stakeholders’ meeting, stated that Nigeria Industrial Standard (117) for steel products must be adhered to, while sounding a note of warning to steel companies and importers to recall any substandard steel bar they have in the market before the expiration of the ultimatum.
“We want to also warn that any steel manufacturer caught circumventing quality assurance requirements will be dealt with. Henceforth, defaulters will be prosecuted in line with the SON Act 14 of 2015. We are giving this warning because the life of every Nigeria is important, any product that will destroy lives and property is not worthy to be in the market.”
He added that compliance to quality and standards would guarantee local and international patronage of steel products made in Nigeria while also building the confidence of Nigerians in purchasing goods and services.
“I understand that steel manufacturers undermine one another through the production of substandard steel reinforcement bars under the name and code of rival firms and competitors. Such act is not acceptable and it is to the detriment of the unsuspecting end-users, who buy and use the products. We also warn you to desist from tampering with any consignment put on hold by officials of the agency for suspected infractions during investigation and quality verifications. Anyone in the steel or other sectors who fails to meet up will face the wrath of the law,” he warned.
He restated the agency’s commitment to ensure the safety of lives and property, part of which informed its recent nationwide monitoring of steel production.
“We are concerned over the non-compliance of key stakeholders in the industry, the agency will stop at nothing to bring sanity to Nigeria’s steel sector. “Players producing without regards to NIS 117 will not be tolerated.”