The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), has seized substandard aluminum roofing sheets worth over N200 million from various aluminum companies in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
Briefing newsmen on the seizure, SON Director, Inspectorate and Compliance Engr. Obiora Manafa, disclosed that the seizure followed information received from Stakeholders and weeks of surveillance and monitoring.
Manafa stated that the aluminium roofing sheets were found to be of lower gauge than the 0.4mm prescribed in the Nigeria Industrial Standards NIS 488 for Aluminium roofing sheets.
According to him, all aluminium roofing sheets of between 0.25mm to 0.37mm found in the premises of the companies were evacuated to prevent them from entering the market while others that meet the standard specification were untouched.
“They were brought into the country from China without passing through the SON offshore Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP) to ascertain the quality before shipment”, he said.
Manafa stated further that the aluminium roofing sheets were smuggled in without SON quality verification necessitating the need to track them to three different company premises in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. This was facilitated by classified information provided by concerned Stakeholders, he said.
“There are a lot of negative consequences having such aluminium roofing sheets in the Nigerian markets. Government is denied legitimate revenue, Consumers do not get value for money, plus the unfair competition with certified made-in-Nigeria aluminium roofing sheets through low pricing. This unfair competition leads to low capacity utililization by the local manufacturers, loss of jobs by Nigerians and a general downturn in the Nation’s economy”, Manafa stated.
Marafa disclosed that a joint task force was recently constituted between SON and the Galvanised Steel Manufacturers Association (GISMA) with a Manufacturers Association of Nigeria personnel as Secretary to share information towards apprehending low gauge, substandard aluminium and galvanised steel roofing sheets in all parts of the country.