Ben Ezechime, Enugu
The Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has commenced sensitisation of Spare Parts dealers in Enugu on products standardisation.
The traders numbering over 400 are drawn mainly from the popular Coal Camp spare parts market in Enugu metropolis.
They were been sensitised on the need to ensure and maintain standards on every product they sell to their customers.
Declaring the sensitisation open, the Director-General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mallam Farouk Salim, said that there was no better time than now to sensitise importers, exporters and traders of products on the enormous benefits of standardisation of their products.
Salim, who was represented by Mr Francis Onyeji, the SON State Coordinator, noted that around the world, standardisation is recognised as a powerful tool for an increase in productivity.
According to him: “Standardisation guarantees facilitation of trade across national and international borders, enhances global competitiveness, production of quality goods, better utilisation of resources, elimination of waste, protection of the environment and removal of trade barriers.”
The director-general said that SON deemed it right to carry out the sensitisation in Enugu, as the nerve center of South-East.
He noted that the sensitisation was for the purpose of creation and improvement of awareness on mandates of SON and how the agency can assist businesses to grow to international brands within Enugu State and the entire South-East.
“Quite a lot has been done in the area of quality regulations and enforcement of compliance to requirements but more still needs to be done to reduce the production and circulation of substandard products through standardisation and conformity assessment activities.
“The organisation under my watch has been and will continue to sensitise importers, exporters, traders, consumers and all stakeholders on issues that can facilitate international trade and at the same time prevent Nigeria becoming a dumping ground of substandard products from other countries.
“With the unflinching support of President Muhammadu Buhari, facilities with the aim of boosting production and marketing of quality products are being improved across the country by my organisation.
“The services represent a primus inter pares (first among equals) as well as a leading primogeniture of SON’s quality assurance and standardisation.”
He added that, by this act, SON was simply stating that it was taking the work of standardisation and quality assurance to the doorsteps of operators,” he said.
Speaking, Chief John Omekagu, Chairman of Kano Street Spare Parts Traders Association, lauded SON for the sensitisation and the humane and enlightened way they had been carrying out their activities.
Omekagu noted that SON, notwithstanding their enormous powers, had carried traders and everyone along and to ensure “we understand the great benefits in maintaining truth and standard in the product we are selling to members of the public especially motorists.”
Also speaking, Mr Friday Nwobodo, who represented Enugu State Tyre Dealers Association, said that the sensitisation had been impactful and there was a need to collaborate with SON for calibration of their various tools to ensure international standards.
“By working in partnership with SON, we will ensure that all our equipment used to determine the quality of tyres are calibrated to international standards and this would build more confidence on our products,” Nwobodo said.
Chief Christian Ngwoke, Chairman of Enugu State Spare Parts Dealers, lamented the menace of imported spare parts products that were fake; adding that SON should start from the wharf to block such products and ensure they do not enter Nigeria markets.
“I commend SON for the sensitisation and their large heart to partner with us as well as help us get rid of fake, sub-standard and counterfeited products anywhere it would be found even in drugs and cosmetics,” he said.
The sensitisation featured lectures on: “The Role of Meteorology in the Production and Distribution of Auto Spare Parts in Nigeria”; “Quality and Performance Expectations of Auto Spare Parts Merchandise in Nigeria”; and “A Talk on the National Products Registration Scheme of SON.”