Fully aware of the critical role of lubricating products in the nation’s quest towards rapid industrialization as well as ensure that adulteration of lubricants are stamped out, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has embarked on a nationwide mop up of substandard lubricants, describing the move as an imperative in safeguarding the lives of unsuspecting consumers in the country, while also boosting Nigeria’s industrialization drive.
Indeed, the agency stated that the impact of fake and counterfeited lubricants on the economy poses threat to nation’s manufacturing industry, maintaining that it the use of lubricants touches on all vehicles, industrial machines of various types, hydraulic systems, electric transformers and other things.
‘‘It is obvious that most of our daily activities depend directly or indirectly on use of lubricants and it is therefore, the massive evacuation of substandard lubricants cannot be over flogged,’’ SON said.
The Director General, SON, Osita Aboloma, at an enforcement exercise to raid different markets and warehouses in Lagos in search of adulterated and uncertified lubricants, explained that the agency has been reinvigorated courtesy of its new SON Act 2015 to remove all non-complying products from the nation’s market, saying that its new rigour was also aimed at improving the capacity utilization of Nigeria’s manufacturing industry.
Aboloma who was represented by the Director, Compliance, SON, Bede Obayi also disclosed that the special raid was targeted at markets and warehouses where suspected substandard products were stocked or sold.
In his words, “The special raid is in accordance to our mandate that all non-complying products must be removed from the markets of this country and this special raid is targeted at anywhere we suspect that there is substandard products and this is why embarked on the raiding of warehouses and markets where suspected substandard lubricants are sold to unsuspecting consumers in this country, we also seized cables and textile materials because we want to make this country a place where indigenous manufacturers can come and produce.”
He added: “We do not want these unscrupulous importers to flood this country with substandard products. We want the capacity utilization of Nigerian companies to improve so as to employ the teeming unemployed Nigerian youths and it can only be so when these substandard products are removed from the nation’s market. This is why we have stopped at nothing in getting everything that is suspected to be substandard out of the markets.”
According to him: ‘’This is just the starting point and we have not gotten to where we want to be. This is a fight that we are not going to stop until we finish removing most of the substandard products in circulation. It is the mandate of the organization to ensure that Nigerians enjoy safe and non hazardous products whenever they buy products. Today, you have seen that made-in-Nigeria products especially cables have become the order of the day where these importers go abroad to buy imported products and clone them as if they are made in this country and this is what we cannot allow to continue to happen in this country.
He said this nefarious act discourages genuine businessmen to invest in the country, stressing that it also poses danger to Nigeria’s economy while also increasing the unemployment level.
“Once we remove these substandard products, the Nigerian products would take over and that is when we will be talking of made-in-Nigeria products for the world. We want Nigerians to enjoy made-in-Nigeria products so that once they see made-in-Nigeria products, they will be proud of it and we do not want other countries to dump substandard products on us and that is the essence of this raid,” he stated.
He said SON has done so much in the cable industry to ensure that made-in-Nigeria cables are the best all over the world, adding that dealers who specialize in cloning established brands would be prosecuted.
“You can see the volumes of lubricants we have seized and they are all engine oil that have not been certified by SON and once they sell these products that have not been certified they will end up knocking the engines of motor vehicles and other equipment. Any time you use this kind of substandard lubricants, your engine is at risk and also the environment. Today, we have started the evacuation of this non-blended engine oil that are in circulation so that Nigerians will get value for their hard-earned money spent. This is just the starting off of the operation to remove non-complying lubricant oil from circulation. SON is out to make Nigeria safe for everybody,” he assured.