SON Warns Manufacturers Against Substandard Products

SON, SON, Standards OrganizationOrganizationThe Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) said it would continue to intensify the fight against “cutting corners ” by local manufacturers in quality assurance of products sent into the market.

 

The Director General of SON, Osita Aboloma, gave the warning at the launching of Standards Club in Primary and Secondary Schools in Osogbo, the Osun State capital.

Represented by Oluremi Ayeni, the SON DG explained that showing commitment to quality would make local products acceptable in the international market.

Aboloma who noted that SON was working tirelessly to use standards to improve the quality of life in the country, said the organisation would continue to prevent the market from substandard goods.

“Without standards, we cannot be competitive in at the international markets, he said”.

Speaking at the inauguration of the standard club in schools, Aboloma said the club was aimed at inculcating quality culture in children.

He said standards Club in primary and secondary schools would create a great army that would propagate the gospel of standardisation.

“Propagating standards ideals and principles in schools will help to create awareness about zero tolerance to substandard products in no small way”.

In her remarks, the SON Regional Coordinator, South-West, Mrs Oyenike Owoyele, said that when the principles of standardisation were applied and written on the minds of the young ones, it would stick to them for life.

Owoyele said living according to acceptable societal norms and principles would create a healthy environment and economy.

Earlier in his remarks, the SON state coordinator, Mr Sunday Badewole, said standards club in schools is the best way to catch them young and raise advocators and vanguards of standards for the future.

“When this is achieved, the much needed socio-economic change required to secure the future of Nigeria would have been achieved for Nigeria by SON.”

In his remarks, the State Commissioner for Education, Mr Wasiu Omotunde-Young, said the inauguration of the club would inculcate the mindset of quality assurance in children at a tender age.

SON Confiscates 1,000 Bags Of Underweighted Rice In Osogbo

Customs, Plastic Rice,At least 1,000 underweighted bags of rice have been confiscated in Osogbo the capital of Osun State by Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON).

The organisation said the seizure of the bags of rice at different markets in Osogbo was part of control measures mechanisms.

The State Coordinator of SON, Mr Sunday Badewole, gave the figure while addressing reporters in Osogbo on Tuesday.

Mr Badewole said the agency made the confiscation during the enforcement operation where more than 1,000 bags of five kilogramme, 10kg and 25kg were confiscated.

He said many of the rice sellers had reduced the quantity of rice from the kilogrammes that were indicated on the bags, to make more money.

Stolen Quantity Repackaged

Badewole said the observation carried out by the enforcement team of the agency in the markets during the raid revealed that rice sellers would remove some measures from the bags of rice and seal it back for sale.

He said the quantities removed would thereafter be repackaged in another bag, sealed and sold to buyers.

Badewole said the rice sellers confessed that they used to buy empty rice bags from Lagos to repackage the quantities that was stolen from the original bags.

“Based on the information from our operations directorate headquarters that underweighted bags of rice were in circulation, we went to the market with our scale.

“But it is very unfortunate that many of these small bags of rice have been reduced by the sellers to make more gain,” he said.

Badewole said all the shops where the underweighted rice were found had been sealed and put on hold.

He, however, said the confiscated bags of rice would not be destroyed but rather it would be rectified, a process that would be carried out by the sellers under the supervision of SON’s enforcement unit.

“Since the intention is not to further destroy the economic strength, the option we will probably put forward is rectification and fine.

“That is, we will ensure that all the bags of rice that were tampered with are filled up to the normal kilogrammes under our supervision, before they are put up for sale, because that is what the standard says,” he said.

Badewole said any rice seller that refuses to carry out rectification would forfeit all the underweighted rice to SON.

He noted that the exercise was a continuous one, and warned rice sellers against shortchanging people.

“I want to warn rice sellers to always ensure that their bags contain the right quantity of the produce.

“They should stop deceiving people and allow people to have value for their money,” he said.

Badewole, who highlighted that the raids would soon be carried to all the supermarkets in the state, said the organisation would not relent in its efforts at sanitising the system.

Buhari Appoints New Heads For 13 FG Agencies

Muhammadu-Buhari-UNGeneral-AssemblyPresident Muhammadu Buhari on Monday approved the appointments of Chief Executives for 13 Federal Government agencies.

A list of the new Chief Executives was contained in a statement by the Director of Press in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF), Bolaji Adebiyi.

The appointments are:

Joseph Ari, Director-General, Industrial Training Fund (ITF).

Dr. Isa Ibrahim, Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Monitoring Board.

Aboloma Anthony, Director-General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON).

Mamman Amadu, Director-General, Bureau of Public Procurement.

Sharon Ikeazor, Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate.

Princess Akodundo Gloria, National Coordinator, New Partnership for Africa’s Development.

Mr Ahmed Bobboi, Executive Secretary, Petroleum Equalisation Fund.

Umana Okon Umana, Managing Director, Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority.

Sa’adiya Faruq, Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons.

Usman Abubakar, Chairman, Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC).

Dr. Bello Gusau, Executive Secretary, Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF).

Yewande Sadiku, Executive Secretary, National Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC).

FRSC Educates Motorists On Tyre Usage In Anambra

Tyre, FRSC, AnambraThe Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has embarked on a one-day sensitisation programme for motorists and other stakeholders in Anambra State.

The host and Anambra State Sector Commander of FRSC, Mr Sunday Ajayi, said that the event was organised for the motorists to be acquainted with all the necessary information about tyres in terms of usage and when to discard them to avoid accidents and deaths on the roads.

Supervising the event, the Deputy Corps Marshal, Chidi Nwachukwu, revealed that from 2012 to present, seven to 10% of deaths recorded as a result of road crashes were attributable to tyre burst.

He advised the motorists to check the over 35 pieces of information written on the body of the tyre before purchasing one.

The Anambra State Commissioner for Rail, Water and Land Transportation, Chinwe Nwaebili, commended the corps for the sensitisation and the state government for constructing good roads while he urged motorists to use the road with caution.

In their various remarks, an official of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, Edet Esan, spoke about the life span of tyres and the role of the agency in checking the sale of substandard tyres while the President of the New Tyre Dealers Association, Okechukwu Atuenyi, gave exposition on how to check the life span of a tyre.

The high point of the event was the field campaign on ‘know your tyre’ whereby motorists where guided on the exact gauge of their tyres and how to identify good tyres.

Building Collapse: Construction Stakeholder Calls On Professionals To Help Industry

Kunle AwoboduThe President of the Building Collapse Prevention Guild, Kunle Awobodu, on Monday called on professionals in the industry to help ensure that proper standards are maintained by construction workers and builders, across the nation.

Mr Awobodu, who appeared as a guest on Sunrise Daily, said the government did not have sufficient hands to deal with some of the major issues, which lead to cases of building collapse, including the recent collapse of a building within the premises of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, in Lagos.

“This was bound to happen,” he said, noting that government agents in charge of monitoring building constructions could not have penetrated the church as it was secluded.

He also decried the resistance of the church members against members of the guild and their refusal to let them enter the premises, after the collapse of the building.

Asked what the efforts of the guild were in ensuring the integrity of the structure, before the building collapsed, Mr Awobodu said: “In this society of today, so many people take laws into their hands and they don’t follow due process when it comes to procuring their building”.

He noted that the guild’s assignment was to sensitise people to appreciate the danger of handling construction recklessly.

“If you have to embark on structural integrity test, there are so many building in Lagos that need to be tested.”

“For instance, government officials who are in charge of monitoring per se, do not easily have access to military establishment, the police compound and some of these religious bodies’ compounds. Like Synagogue for instance. The place is well policed.”

He highlighted poor workmanship, use of substandard materials as some of the popular causes of building collapse.

“In the area of sub-standard materials, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria set-up a six man task force to work with Building Collapse Prevention Guild because of our wide structure, majorly in Lagos now.”

Mr Awobodu noted that the guild had visited several building sites to ensure that builders were following stipulated laws, to prevent collapse.

He, however, disclosed that “the government itself does not have sufficient staff strength to handle the complaints and this could be discouraging. For instance, the coordinators and secretaries of BCPG under mainland cell discovered some of the buildings that were not being properly constructed.

“This was brought to the attention of our collaborators. They came there repeatedly, sealed the building but somehow, the people will continue with the work. It was quite discouraging”.

He also hinted that there may be a lack of political will to ensure that all building constructions not according to standard, were stopped.

Awobodu noted that the guild was making plans to set up neighbourhood watch to monitor such cases, as many construction works continue even after the sites has been sealed off by government agents.

“A place like Lagos is so vast that as you are solving one problem here, another problem has emerged. So this assignment requires a lot of committed people. People who will not compromise and that is what we are building through the guild.”

No Plans To Impound School Buses Not Painted Yellow Yet – FRSC

frsc-logoA representative of the Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC) Deputy Corp., Public Education Officer, Bisi Kazeem, on Friday said that the agency had no plans to impound school buses not painted yellow, hinting that such a measure may be adopted after “subtle enforcement”.

“We would not impound any vehicle as at now” he said, during an interview on Sunrise Daily.

There had been complaints by school owners concerning FRSC’s order that all school buses must be painted yellow, to give them a unique appearance, as well as act as a cautionary measure for other road users.

A concerned school owner who chose anonymity had told Channels Television that the directive could not achieve what the Agency said it would, and that it would cost school owners funds which can be re-invested to give students better education.

In response, Mr Kazeem stated that students were being conveyed in sub-standard buses. Recalling an accident involving a school bus in 2009, where some students fell out of a bus and were run over by an on-coming vehicle, Mr Kazeem said that the FRSC was prompted to organise a one-day stakeholder forum to address the issues, in 2009.

He disclosed that after the forum, “a 10-man committee was drawn from different organisations to come up with a policy document on school bus standards and operations.

“Subsequently, the document comprising both the guidelines and specifications for school bus operation was approved by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria governing council.

“In line with the above, the Federal Road Safety Corp in conjunction with SON carried out a nationwide sensitisation of State owned educational institutions, proprietors of primary schools and other stakeholders in the six geo-political zones of the country, between March and July, on the contents of the document.”

He further argued that the uniform colour “is a world standard” which would give school buses a uniqueness while on the road. He mentioned that the idea was a replica was what obtained in the United Kingdom.

He denied claims that buses which were not seen to have complied with the instruction by the deadline would be impounded, maintaining that “subtle enforcement means trying to still continue to talk to people on the necessity of complying”.

The unique appearance of school buses, he said, would cause road users to be “weary of driving dangerously” when driving around them.

At a point during the interview, Kazeem hinted on the possibility of impounding vehicles.

Association Suggests Merger Of Regulatory Agencies In Nigeria

Muhammad AbubakarThe National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) in Nigeria has recommended a merger of regulatory agencies with duplicate functions.

While presenting a report on the various sectors of the economy in Lagos on Monday, the President of the Chamber, Mr. Muhammad Abubakar, detailed the concerns of the private sector operators under the umbrella of the chamber.

Also calling for the recapitalisation of the Bank of Agriculture and incentives for farmers in order to develop agribusiness, Mr. Abubakar pointed out that the various concerns stated in the report required equal attention of the government.

The association expressed worries that charges by some of the agencies were becoming too high and overlapping, thus constituting a major burden on business especially manufacturing industries.

“National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control and Standards Organisation of Nigeria, for instance, are responsible for standards and these two have no business being separate organisations,” he said, citing a example of the agencies that should be merged.

NACCIMA also called for government’s intervention in the area of land availability for farming.

“Most of the land in Nigeria is family owned lands and you can hardly get three to four kilometres of land for farming. This is a challenge to farmers,” he stated.

SON signs MoU with IAFs to inspect goods imported into Nigeria

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Independent Accredited Firms (IAFs) in an effort to reduce the influx of substandard products into the country.

The programme is to operate by ensuring that the IAFs test products that are Nigeria-bound, and seal the containers for conveyance before shipping.

According to agreement proposal, the MoU is to renew the stated objectives of SON conformity assessment programme, which appeared to have failed in recent years.

The Director-General of SON, Dr. Joseph Odumodu, said at the signing of the MoU that challenges facing the implementation of the SONCAP objectives over the years had been due to whittled monitoring of the programme.