The acting Director-general of Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Dr. Paul Angya, disclosed yesterday that his agency, in collaboration with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Matters Commission (ICPC) and the Department of State Security(DSS) would soon begin a clampdown on traders in substandard goods in the country.
Besides, Dr. Angya disclosed that the agency would soon go into a massive recruitment drive to shore up the staff of the agency with an additional 10,000.
The SON boss made these disclosures in Abuja at a press briefing at the headquarters of the organisation.
“I have approached the DSS, CUSTOMS, EFCC and ICPC to send their staff to SON to check the crooks peddling fake products. We have also set up a joint-team to see how the CUSTOMS can be of assistance to us. The Chairman of EFCC has pledged to assist us and we have also improved on the SON Act now. We have had our law reviewed and this law has attempted to fill the gaps we identified in the old law, and we are also developing capacity to be able to effectively implement the new law”, he said.
The Acting Dg who decried the harm of such goods to the economy, insisted that only stringent methods will phase out these unscrupulous business men.
He however decried the inadequacy of equipment for his agency to tackle the influx of substandard goods into the country and the poor packaging of exported items.
Dr. Angya said his agency would require at least N10billion in a short-term to purchase scanners and relevant equipment to check against substandard goods littering the Nigerian market.
“For the immediate short-term delivery against substandard goods, N10billion will put us in a comfortable place. At least a minimum of 10billion naira, will be needed to ensure quality standardization in a short term. When I talk of short-term, I mean about two quarters (6 months)”, he said.
To ensure optimal performance of the agency, the Acting DG also said the agency would employ at least 10,000 additional staff to cover the entire country. He disclosed that the organisation at the moment has only 1,500 staff for the whole country.
“We are hamstrung, because at the moment, the SON has only 1,500 staff across the country. In 1993, the Ayida Panel recommended a staff strength of 10,000 for the agency, but nothing was done. So you can imagine that 23 years ago the agency needed atleast 10,000, and 23 years after we still have only 1,500 staff. So we need to recruit more, atleast 10,000 more staff”, he disclosed.
The Dg regretted that some traders in fake goods, were duplicating SONCAP certificates to pass counterfeit items as standard ones approved by the agency.
He described trading in fake items as “the worst crime”. He said “This type of corruption is trhe worst evil”.
Culled from Leadership.