“We will dislodge substandard cartels soon” – SON DG vows

    By Isaac Tersoo Agber

    The Acting Director General of Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Dr. Paul Angya, has vowed that the agency will soon deploy its best arsenals to dislodge the so-called “untouchable cartels” who peddle substandard products in the country.

    Angya disclosed this when a delegation of Benue Journalists Forum of Nigeria (BJFN) honoured him with an Award of Excellence and Dedication to Service, recognizing his zealous efforts at reshaping the agency just within six months of his acting capacity.

    The event, which took place on Thursday 4th August, 2016 at the Protea Hotel, Lagos, was meant to spur him up to the very big task ahead of him as he prepares to take saddle of the agency in full capacity as the substantive Director General sooner or later.

    In appreciation, Angya promised to live up to the mandate of the agency with exception by adopting stringent measures that will curb the menacing activities of substandard cartels in the country. Having worked in the system for many years, Dr. Angya noted that cartels have been the bane of the agency, slowing down its quest to ensuring all household products in Nigeria are of standardized quality.

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    To eliminate the bad elements, the Director General said the agency is already working on computerized codes which will require that all imported household products pass through a compulsory checking process by 2017. The codes will be stamped on each unit of equipment such that buyers will simply send the inscribed number to the monitoring unit of the agency via SMS and would get a reply that confirms whether the equipment has be checked and approved by the agency or not.

    “Cartels have been a problem to the nation’s economy and the agency has been struggling to trap them down without success because they prove untouchable, but they are not. They try to compromise public officers through blackmails and threats. I have received such threats already. But we are prepared to fight back this time and stave off intimidation until we dislodge them.

    “We are not going to do that with arms because we don’t carry arms but we have mapped out our strategies to ensure that any unit of product, imported or locally produced, must be properly checked and sealed with a computerized code. Any unit that doesn’t carry a code is fake. Buyers will be able to verify through SMS to know if the unit has been checked or not. That’s the only way we will fight them, purely by being tactical as we strive to live up to our mandate, and not allowing any compromise,” Angya said.

    He added that the agency, under his watch, will ensure that the Chinese authority signs agreement, which they have been dodging all the while, to check the standard of every product imported from China. Once that is done, the agency would have achieved half of its mandate.

    Another strategy to be deployed, according to the Doctor, is to identify and profile people selling household products and get them registered, especially the importers, for easy tracking of their activities.

    Angya commended the Buhari led administration, saying it is different from the past administrations, which allowed cartels to flourish and become untouchable. He said the present government is determined to fight corruption and he was positioned strategically to make that happen in SON. He pledged to achieve this within the ambits of the law and established parameters and benchmarks of the agency.