The Director General of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, Salim Farouk, has accused importers of substandard products in Nigeria of sponsoring insecurity in the country.
Farouk, who said this on Tuesday while destroying some seized substandard products at the SON’s warehouse in Amuwo Odofin, Lagos, vowed that the agency will continue to deal with the importers despite limited resources.
He said that the agency had made some arrests in that regard, adding that some of the imported substandard goods could be genuinely produced in Nigeria
“We have secret information that some of these activities are financing a lot of insecurity in Nigeria. Don’t forget these products you are seeing could have been genuinely manufactured in Nigeria and some Nigerians will make money, make a living, pay taxes and all that. We have the ability to produce these things.
“It is a very disappointing issue and these criminals are sponsoring terrorism, separatism and banditry in this country. They are now encouraging bad people to use the money and the profit to attack us and destroy our country.”
According to him, “It is a very serious issue and I want people to see this is just a small percentage of what is out there, and SON will continue working very hard to make sure that these bad products are dealt with properly. We made a lot of arrests. The person in Aspanda producing fake lubrication oil is right now in jail. So, a lot of people are already in the process of being jailed. There are lots of people out there doing these businesses and we are working with the limited resources to deal with them.”
On the cost of the destroyed goods, he said, “All these goods run into millions of naira. Anybody who has gone to the market to buy a gallon of engine oil knows how expensive that is and if you want to buy a roll of cable, you know how expensive it is. If you also want to buy a gas cylinder, you know how expensive that is. So, imagine we have thousands of all these products here. So, it runs into millions of products that we are going to destroy.”
Explaining further, Farouk said, “We are here to assure Nigerians that we are not only working and confiscating substandard goods; we are actually destroying those goods after we get a court order or permission from the people importing the substandard goods. You can see a mountain of cables, roofing sheets, lubricants gas cylinders that were smuggled into the country and people are repainting them to sell them as new ones.