The federal government has intensified efforts to rid Nigeria of substandard products and has therefore warned importers to desist from falsifying documents or face sanctions.
The Director-General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Osita Aboloma, who made the appealed to importers and their representatives said the agency has upgraded its operations and is now using electronic means for clearing processes.
Aboloma, who was represented by Mr Obiora Manafa, of the Directorate of Inspectorate and Compliance of SON during the organisation’s advocacy session organised for importers in Lagos on Wednesday, said that false cargo declaration was stalling its operations.
“We are using this event to appeal to you the importers and your representatives to shun document falsifications and be honest in your documentation.
“The advocacy campaign is to keep stakeholders aware of the dangers of substandard products and its economic impact as well as its effect on the environment.
“We do not derive joy in the seizure of goods and its destruction for it does not do anybody any good,” he said.
Aboloma said that 88 per cent of products in Nigerian markets were imported through the seaports and waterways hence the advocacy.
He said that the organisation had introduced electronic platforms like e-clearing, e-demand note and e-receipt to quicken the process of clearing in the nation’s ports.
The director-general said that the establishment of SON’s electronic work stations was to reduce human interface.
According to him SON’s Act gave it the power to arrest any importer of substandard product anywhere in Nigeria, stressing that it was working in partnership with other agencies to curb fake product importation.
On his part, Chief Henry Njoku, Chairman, Board of Trustees of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), said the event would provide a platform for stakeholders to streamline some issues with SON.
Njoku said that the stakeholders would assist the organisation and ensure that members cooperate with the organisation to achieve its mission.
According to him, there were certain operational measures that the agency had taken that had kept the stakeholders wondering.
He added that such issues would be discussed and both parties would know what was required of them.