The federal government in its fight against circulation of substandard goods in the country has traced cloned cables kept at two residential buildings in Ajangbadi area of Lagos state.
According to the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON, the value of the cables is about N8billion.
SON enforcement team uncovered the warehouses, where 20 different brands of cloned cables were kept. They included made-in-Nigeria cables and other brands like NOCAN, Surecan, Necaco, Kablemex, Purecan and Nigertin, among others, were cloned in China.
Bede Obayi, Director, Inspectorate and Compliance of the SON, who conducted journalists round the fake projects on behalf of Osita Aboloma, director-general, said the items belonged to Estobest Electrical Limited.
Aboloma said the firm’s officials and others implicated in the illegal deal would be made to face the wrath of the law. He said the company targeted and cloned Nigerian cables already certified by the SON, in deceptive packages.
He expressed the belief that more of such firms would be uncovered.
The SON director said the agency had made progress in the area of sanitising the nation’s cable market, and that, dubious importers were trying to truncate that achievement by going overseas to clone Nigerian cables adjudged to be best in the world.
Aboloma said: “All these cloned Nigerian cables were made in China, but packaged as made-in-Nigeria products. “You know we are proud of made-in-Nigeria cables because it is about the best cable all over the world. This illegal act will not be accepted. SON will not allow it. We are going to go after the importer and prosecute him.”
He claimed that the firm hid the fake items in the warehouse in a residential area to avoid the prying eyes of the regulatory agencies.
He said SON enforcement team would continue to burst dubious importers who resort to bringing in substandard products. “Nobody can imagine someone coming down here to fully stock two buildings with substandard cables. These are purported to be Nigerian brands but made in China”, he said.
He said it would be difficult for the country to make progress when some Nigerians by themselves were sabotaging the effort of the government.
“Some Nigerian companies are laying off staff because of low sales. Because the government has now focused on promoting quality products made in Nigeria, these people now go abroad, fake Nigerian products already certified by the SON. Those behind it would be made to face the full wrath of the law because it is a clear case of fraud,” he said.
Aboloma assured that since the SON now had prosecutorial powers, it would ensure that those behind the illegal act are prosecuted.
He advised consumers to be sure of where they buy their cables and making sure it is certified by the SON.