The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has stated that its Product Registration Certificate (PRC) was no longer required for clearing cargoes at the nation’s point of entry effective November 1, 2018.
The Director General, of the Agency, Mr. Osita Aboloma, stated that the new development was in line with the present administration’s ease of doing business policy.
The Director-General, at a nationwide awareness programme organised to sensitise members of the Auto Spare Parts and Machinery Dealers Association (ASPMDA) in Lagos on dangers of sub-standard products in circulation, stressing that the removal from cargo clearance was to fast-track cargo processes.
He stated the agency has also reduced some its fees to encourage local producers while also attracting Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) into the country.
According to the Director- General, “The fight against the influx of substandard goods is continuous and as you can see, we have to bring the fight to the biggest market in West Africa. We are here to get the buy-in of importers and distributors in a bid to agree to work together as a team to curb the influx of substandard life-endangering auto spare parts into Nigeria.”
He appealed to importers and local manufacturers to comply with the minimum requirement of the Nigeria Industrial Standard (NIS), restating the agency’s commitment to protect investments.
“The government is diversifying from a single product economy into other products, so we must encourage other sectors to grow, we must open up our doors to genuine foreign businesses and protect their investments. We are also calling on the public to report to SON whenever they see anything unwholesome. It is a win-win situation if people comply with standards because it will go a long way to boost consumer confidence and also increase the revenues of importers and manufacturers,” he said.
Acknowledging the vital role technology plays in global trade and ensuring seamless business transactions, he said the standards body has automated its processes to facilitate trade in the nation’s maritime downstream sector.
According to him, automation would also eradicate the prevalence of human interface in businesses which he said would take touts out of business while also curbing corrupt practices by officials in different agencies.
The Director- General said “We are trying to fully automate our processes to make it seamless, this would help to tackle some of the corrupt practices operators experience at the ports. When you automate, you have less human interface, there will be no more need to patronise touts for accessing our services”.
Also speaking at the event, the president, ASPMDA, Daniel Offorkansi, said SON is vital in safeguarding the lives and property of Nigerians, saying that the association has set up a committee comprising of SON officials and ASPMDA members to combat the preponderance of fake and substandard goods in the country.
“We are ready to expose any member who indulges in the illicit trade of substandard goods to SON with the help of the committee. They are here to sensitise us about the importance of fighting against fake and substandard goods in the country and to us, we think is a welcome development because it will boost consumers’ confidence whenever they patronise us,” he said.
The Acting Director, Product Certification, SON, Tersoo Orngudwem, said with the over 32 laboratories in Nigeria available for testing and certifying products in the country, the Agency is capable of effectively undertaking its certification mandates.
“We are appealing to manufacturers and importers to bring their products for testing. This is the only way we can boost the confidence of Nigerian consumers while also giving Nigeria a good image on the global map. Any product tested in Nigeria can be accepted anywhere in the world.