The Standard Organisation of Nigeria has called on manufacturers in the country to form associations in their various sub-sectors to fight against counterfeit and substandard products.
Director General of SON, Alhaji Farouk Salim, said this at a Stakeholders Meeting and Sensitisation Workshop’ with manufacturers in Awka, Anambra State on Thursday.
Speaking on the theme “The Impact of Quality Assurance on Businesses”, Farouk, who was represented by his senior special assistant, Emeka Duru, said the problem of substandard products and challenges of raw materials sourcing would be more effectively tackled if players in the industry galvanised their energies.
He said firms that have regularised their processes should not allow illegal operators to frustrate their genuine efforts.
He said, “Core mandate of what we do is to ensure that Nigeria made products are quality assured and it is our mandate also to protect firms. I urge you to form associations so that you can articulate your challenges and agenda. This will also help you to work with SON to weed out quacks. Those of you here have nothing to fear but you must assist by exposing those at home.”
SON Regional Director for Anambra State, Mr. Don-Pedro Papaye, said the workshop was in line with the operational mandate of the organisation to promote businesses and protect consumers.
Papaye explained that the creation of a regional office in Anambra and another state office in Nnewi was to bring its operations closer to the communities.
He said a laboratory would be sited in the state to ease and fasten the process of product testing and response.
According to him, siting of the laboratory will quicken the time of sample test and obtain the result on time. It will also reduce the risk associated with moving products to long distances.
“The workshop is essential as part of our services. We meet with manufacturers on a quarterly basis to discuss critical issues that would bring improvement in their products and business.
“So, our surveillance teams are working, going to the market to identify products that have not been certified, and when we see such, we confiscate,” he said.
Mr. Elisha Jugu of the Mechanical Engineering Department said a sound Quality Management System was essential for the survival of any firm.
Jugu said quality assurance and quality control entailed ensuring that standards were upheld through the manufacturing process from raw materials, machines, personnel, marketing to customer care desk.
He said SON helped firms to monitor their quality compliance by regular inspection visits, issuance, and renewal of MANCAP certificate and training.