SON Workers Protest Over Alleged Poor Welfare

Workers protest at the Abuja office of Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. PHOTO: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

Members of the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) on Tuesday staged a protest at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The workers carrying various placards assembled at the entrance of the SON headquarters.

According to the workers, the protest is against alleged cases of corruption, poor staff welfare, and non-payment of entitlements.

READ ALSO: Picketing: TCN Workers Clash With Protesting TUC Members

The workers under the umbrella body of the amalgamated union of public corporations, civil service technical and recreational services employees are demanding the immediate approval and implementation of better conditions of service at the agency.

They also claim illegal promotion of some directors and are calling for the intervention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Crimes (ICPC) into the operations of the organisation.

They alleged that the Director-General of SON, Osita Aboloma, has refused to obey the directive of the Federal Ministry of Labor and Employment on voluntarism.

The head of public relations at SON, Dipo Fashina, in reaction says the issues raised by the workers is being addressed.

He added that the budgetary allocation has been provided in the 2019 budget to settle all outstanding allowances.

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Businessman Accused Of Cloning SON Logo Arraigned

A businessman, Nonso Udoye, who was accused of cloning the production and registration logo of the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) was on Wednesday brought to the Federal High Court in Lagos for trial.

Udoye is facing a 15-count charge bordering on forgery and counterfeiting before Justice Saliu Saidu.

At the commencement of trial, his counsel, Mr Emmanuel Okoroafor, told the court that he just took over the matter and needed time to study the Proof of Evidence.

He, therefore, asked the court for an adjournment to enable him to familiarise himself with the case.

The prosecution counsel, Mrs Amaka Allen-Ngbale, however, objected on the ground that the matter was listed for trial. She told the court that her witness, a police officer was in court and ready to testify.

READ ALSO: Police Arrest Man, 70, For Defiling 13-year-old Girl In Ogun

In the interest of justice, the judge acceded to the request of the defendant and consequently adjourned the matter till May 7 for trial.

Nonso Udoye was arraigned on February 25 and had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

He has however remained in prison custody for not being able to perfect the bail terms granted him by the court.

The SON alleged that the defendant carried out the offences at a warehouse located at 219 Borno Way, Ebute Metta,  Lagos.

The agency said the warehouse was discovered by SON officials sometime during a raid in the area.

A part of the charge reads : “That you Nonso Udoye, male, adult of 36, Ayara Street Surulere Lagos the Managing Director of a company known as Agastorm Limited on or about  November 7, 2017 within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did knowingly and fraudulently forged a counterfeit production registration seal or mark of the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and thereby committed an offence under section 468 of the Criminal Code Act CAP C39 LFN 2004 and punishable under section 467 Criminal Code Act CAP C39 LFN 2004.

 

Osinbajo To Launch MSME Clinic In Kwara

MSME Clinic, Yemi Osinbajo, KwaraActing President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, is set to launch a three-day Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) clinic on Thursday, February 23 for viable enterprises in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

Recall that Acting President Osinbajo commissioned the Aba MSME clinic on January 26.

Aba is the commercial hub of Abia State in southeast Nigeria.

The Chief Operating Officer of the Kwara State MSME Bureau, Mr Segun Soewu, who made the disclosure in a statement on Monday, informed that the event would hold at the Banquet Hall, Ilorin by 10:00AM daily.

He described the clinic as an opportunity for MSME operators in the state to discuss the opportunities and challenges confronting their businesses.

The MSME Bureau boss added that business owners can also make inquiries about policies and regulations regarding their businesses from the Federal agencies that would be present at the programme.

He listed the agencies to include the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Nigerian Export-Import Bank and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

Others are Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Bank of Agriculture, Bank of Industry, Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), Projects Development Institute, Raw Materials Research and Development Council, and the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure.

Mr Soewu asked intending participants to contact the office of the Chief Operating Officer of the Kwara State MSME Bureau at the Ministry of Commerce and Cooperatives, Gambari Road in Ilorin.

 

Digital Switch-Over: BON Chairman Initiates Stakeholders’ Meeting

BON Chairman Meets With Information MinisterAhead of the June 2017 deadline for digital switch-over, the federal government is hoping to facilitate a meeting of players in the broadcast industry to resolve issues affecting digitization in the country.

During a meeting with the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed in Abuja, the Chairman of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), Mr John Momoh, suggested that the meeting be held to aggregate the challenges affecting digitization and proffer solutions to them.

He told Channels TV that the digital switch-over was on course but there were gray areas that need to be resolved.

He said: “He (Minister) has an ear to the ground and knows what he is doing as regards the digital switch-over and he welcomed the idea of a stakeholders’ meeting which I put forward.

“The stakeholders’ meeting will be such that will get (together) people like the fiber companies, the broadcasters, the platform carriers, signal distributor, content aggregators and producers as well as the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) who should actually be one of the stakeholders since they monitor the kind of setup boxes that would be manufactured in the country.

“We will all come to the table and address the issues confronting the DSO.”

The Minister admitted that the meeting was necessary and should be held regularly until the target date.

He hoped that the meeting would be called soon as it would “not only discuss issues that are strategic and important to the process”.

“We are talking about channels owners, setup box manufacturers, the distributors, the aggregators; everybody.

“We need to meet regularly so that as we move forward, we would ensure nobody is left behind,” the Minister said.

Standard Organisation Of Nigeria Confiscates Substandard Electric Cables

Electric cablesSubstandard electric cables running into millions of Naira have been confiscated by the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) in Plateau State, north central region of Nigeria.

Nine of the shops selling the fake electrical products were also sealed.

Several rolls of electrical cables were tested during the operation that lasted for several hours with security men at hand to provide security.

Although there was not much resistance from the shop owners while the operation lasted, some of them expressed displeasure with government’s approach to the raid.

Some have suggested that more efforts should be geared towards enlightening the public and consumers on ways of identifying such fake and substandard products which will save lots of lives from the hazards of such products.

The Plateau State head of the SON, Musa George, said that the raid on the electrical shops selling fake and substandard cables to unsuspecting members of the public is to ensure that only goods that meet the requirements of relevant Nigerian industrial standards are in the market.

He revealed that the operation will also be extended to other sectors of the economy.

Nigerian Senate Moves To Stop Importation Of Substandard Tyres

Senate on substandard tyresThe Senate in Nigeria has directed the Standard Organisation of Nigeria to work with the Nigeria Customs Service to stop the importation of substandard tyres into the country.

The resolution was reached on Tuesday after a debate on a motion drawing the attention of the Senate to the alarming rate and frequent loss of lives and property through road accidents due to the use of substandard and used tyres.

During its plenary the Senate also called on the Federal Road Safety Commission and Vehicle Inspection Officers to conduct checks on all tyres in use in Nigeria.

‘Unpatriotic’

Daily road accidents have led to a large number of deaths and the use of ‘used tyres’ is said to be one of the reasons for the high number of road accidents.

Moving the motion at the Senate, Senator Shehu Sani expressed concerns over the use of substandard tyres imported into Nigerian markets by businessmen he described as unpatriotic.

Contributing to the debate, Senator Dino Melaye, suggested local production and periodic sensitisation on the use of tyres in Nigeria.

Some other lawmakers were of the opinion that the importation of used tyres should be completely banned in the country.

After much debate, the Senate called on the Federal Roads Safety Commission and Vehicle Inspection Officers to conduct a quick check on all tyres in use in Nigeria.

They also urged the Standard Organisation of Nigeria to partner with the Nigeria Customs Service to intensify boarders and ports checks to halt the importation of substandard tyres and ensure the speedy clearance of imported genuine tyres from the ports.

Customs To Collaborate With SON To Curb Substandard Goods Influx

Hameed-IbrahimThe Nigeria Customs Service says it is ready to partner with the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to curb the influx of substandard goods.

The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ibrahim (rtd), told Channels Television on Saturday that the collaboration would enable the agencies achieve the Federal Government’s mandate of reducing to a bearable minimum the increasing inflow of such goods.

“We are here today to establish that synergy and agree that henceforth we will be working hand-in-hand to improve the system,” Col. Ibrahim said during a meeting with representatives of SON.

The Director General of SON, Joseph Odumodu, requested that the organisation should be allowed to be part of the imported goods’ extermination process to ensure proper check of goods.

“Sometimes containers may come with a paper that says it is ‘A’ but what is inside may be ‘B’. We do not need to see everything, but there are some products that we call life endangering products, like bulbs, electronics, tyres, children’s toys and others and we will like to have a good look at these products,” Mr Odumodu said.

He stressed that although the supervision may not require a 100 per cent involvement of SON, but a proper extermination will ensure that substandard goods do not come into Nigeria.

According to statistics, over 60 per cent of goods imported into Nigeria are fake and this has become an area of concern for the government.

FRSC To Enforce Speed Limit To Reduce Road Accidents

FRSC bossThe Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) in Nigeria, Boboye Oyeyemi, says the agency would enforce speed limit regulations to reduce road accidents. 

Mr Oyeyemi said that the commission had put together training for tanker drivers and that by September 1 the agency would ensure full compliance to the use of a speed limit device.

According to him, the Federal Government is doing its best to fix vandalised pipelines and the refineries to reduce the cluster around the Apapa road and the amount of tankers on the road.

Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily on Friday, the FRSC boss said most tankers on the road were over 30 years of age and that only multi-national companies could purchase new ones which cost up to 30 million Naira.

On why tanker drivers spill products when involved in accident, he said it was because the safety valve that the tanker is supposed to have was missing.

“In developed countries trailers do crash but they don’t spill the products but here in Nigeria, the products spill because the safety valve is missing.”

He said that the FRSC had engaged the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) for the release of guidelines for the required standard.

He also stated that the tankers being made in Nigeria lacked safety valve and should be fixed before the tanker loads.

The FRSC boss emphasised that all tankers that do not have the safety valve should not be allowed to load.

Building Collapse: Agency To Begin Blocks Certification

cementThe Standards Organisation of Nigeria says it will soon commence a certification exercise for blocks, sands and buildings material dealers to check the increasing cases of building collapse.

The director general of SON, Mr Joseph Odumodu told reporters on Monday that the organisation will ensure that over the next 90 days, all cement bags to be sold in the Nigeria’s market must carry additional information of date of manufacture and expiry date which must not exceed six months.

Mr Odumodu said that the rules had become necessary, as it would help check the spate of building collapse in Nigeria.

He said the Federal Government was bothered that previous efforts to check building collapse had not yielded much which underscores the need for a review of cement quality in Nigeria.

In the month of June, two buildings collapsed in Anambra State, prompting the State governor, Mr Willie Obiano, to stop all storey building constructions until proper certification from Council of Registered Engineers of Nigeria, COREN, is obtained.

The directive came after a four storey building at Udi Street, Fegge, in Onitsha South Local Government Area collapsed, the second in less than three weeks after the first collapsed at Odoakpu Onitsha, killing four people.

The first four storey building collapsed on June 2 in the premises of St. Christopher Anglican Church. The building was still under construction and those killed were workers on site. It was indeed a sad day for many including a young man who lost an in-law in the incident.

In an attempt to bring an end to building collapse in the state, Governor Obiano launched a Building and Civil Engineering Material Quality Control Laboratory, known as Anambra State Materials Testing Laboratory.

Maduegbuna Calls For Unified Standard For Cement In Nigeria

Mr Oke MaduegbunaThe Convener, Cement Standardization Advocacy Group, Mr Oke Maduegbuna, who heads the civil society group concerned with reducing the number of building collapsing in the country, has called on stakeholders in the sector to adopt a unified standard for cement grade.

Appearing as a guest on Sunrise (Saturday), Mr Maduegbuna said that though the government had stipulated 42.5 grade as the standard for imported cement, “misapplication of cement is one of the (major) causes of building collapse.”

He said problems began in 2004, “when government decided not to give licenses for imports and all that and people began to produce and probably went back to 32.5”, so the buying public could not differentiate between the 42.5 grade and 32.5 grade.

He noted that many were also not aware of the different grades, type of cement but only knew the different brands.

He further noted that the standard as stipulated by the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), was that “52.5 for heavy construction, 42.5 for buildings and 32.5 for rendering/plaster.” He also said that the SON had intentions to ensure that each bag of cement was properly labelled and the grades stated boldly.

However, “I think there’s an action in Court against SON on this so I don’t think that SON has started the enforcement”, he said, insisting that “we have a grouse with the policy as it is”.

“If you say one (type of) cement is only for plastering and this one could do everything, my worry is that, I would prefer to buy the one that is for plastering, if there is a small margin in the price, or if the other one is unavailable.”

He stated that the application method of the grades is different but cement producers had not done enough to educate the public of these methods.

He urged all stakeholders to “come up with a communication plan to educate the public on the different types of cement”. He also advocated the gradual phasing out of the 32 grade which is only good for plastering.

This he said would curb the misuse of cement.

 

 

 

 

 

SON to close markets with substandard products

The Director-General of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Dr Joseph Odumodu has declared that from the 16th of July, fake goods will be cleared off Nigerian markets.

While addressing a news conference on the plans and strategies for sanitizing products importation, manufacturing and marketing in the country, the DG said SON will close down any market where enforcement is resisted.

He further announced plans to introduce a very stringent regime for the importation of goods into the country over the next three months and prosecute defaulters before the end of 2012, warning importers and marketers of substandard products in the country.


Dr Odumodu also confirmed that a bill that will set standards for manufacturing of goods, importation and marketing in Nigeria has already passed second reading at the National Assembly and it is expected to become law in a few months.

The law, he added, will give the SON the power it needs to surmount many of the existing challenges in driving sanity into Nigeria’s markets and protect the country from  being the dump site of fake goods from foreign countries.