The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), yesterday, said it has concluded plans to commence implementation of products authentication scheme before the end of this year, just as the organisation's enforcement team has confiscated large consignments of suspected unfortified and substandard sugar and flour based products like pasta and spaghetti in several locations in the North East.
Speaking at the organisation's special day at the ongoing Lagos International Trade Fair (LITF), Director General of SON, Dr. Osita Aboloma, said the implementation of the scheme aimed at tackling the challenge of products cloning and products adulteration is overdue. He asserted that the implementation of the product authentication scheme will drive away product faking, support zero-tolerance for sub-standard products and ultimately promote quality certified products from Nigeria.
Aboloma who was represented by Director, Business Support Services, SON, Mrs. Margaret Eshiett, said SON standardization activities and products certification remain the keys to improving Nigerian product competitiveness in the local and international market.
In her remark, President of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, Chief Nike Akande, said SON is relevant to promoting the ease of doing business in Nigeria. She stated: "The menace of sub-standard products has consistently rendered our locally produced goods uncompetitive in terms of cost production and pricing. We congratulate the management of SON in combating fake products and enhancement of product quality through standards, training and certifications of products and services."
Meanwhile as part of efforts to protect Nigerians from the hazards associated with consumption of substandard products, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria enforcement team has confiscated large consignments of suspected unfortified and substandard sugar and flour based products like pasta and spaghetti in the North East States of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe as well as Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi, Kano and Jigawa in the North West.
The operations which were carried out simultaneously in all the states, covered warehouses, stores, markets and trucks in transit following classified information from sister security agencies, patriotic Nigerians and the results of SON nationwide market surveillance activities.
A statement from the office of the Director General, Mr. Osita Aboloma in Abuja disclosed that SON has in recent times received consumer complaints on smuggling and circulation of large consignments of unfortified sugar and flour based products across the country.
According to the SON Director of Operations, Engr. Felix Nyado, who coordinated the nationwide raid, the suspected substandard, unfortified and wrongly labeled imported sugar include Nardini, Coplasca, Carolo, Arapora, USJ Ajoao, Usina Santa Isabel, Cooper and Copersucar brands, while some of the flour based products apprehended were Oba Makarna and Selva Spaghetti, Chef's Choice, Riboca, Serina and Safina pasta, among others.
He reiterated the determination of SON to sustain the nationwide mop up of all unfortified food products in circulation against the requirements of the Nigerian Industrial Standards wherever they are found, in the interest of the Nation, particularly children and mothers.