The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has sounded a note of warning to Nigerian consumers on the proliferation of substandard lubricant in the country.
The agency noted that a particular brand of engine oil called Toyota engine oil is in the market and should not be patronised, warning that these products have not undergone any offshore conformity assessment.
The Director, Inspectorate and Compliance Directorate, SON, Engr. Obiora Manafa, at an enforcement exercise in Lagos, said further investigation revealed that these brand of products have no close or remote relationship with the real Toyota Vehicle manufacturing company, advising the unsuspecting consumers to always patronise only certified engine oils registered with SON.
In his words, “It is necessary we raised this red alert for the public to know what we discovered in the market and you know we carry out regular market survey activities across the country and we have 42 State offices across the country where we do these market survey in all the States. We discovered this brand of engine oil in the market, Toyota brand of engine oil and from our records, this brand of Toyota engine oil has not undergone any offshore conformity assessment process which we call SONCAP. It has not undergone the product registration process for traceability and quality verification, so it is necessary that we alert the public that as far SON is concerned, these products are substandard and we do not encourage anybody to buy it.”
He added “We do not encourage people to patronise these products because these are the kind of products that can cause engine damage to motor vehicles, machinery, generators and the likes. When engine oils are not subjected to test, you cannot vouch for the quality and you cannot recommend the oil for any vehicle or machinery and these are the engine oil that lacks the necessary quality additives required of a good engine oil.”
According to him, the first quality of a good engine oil should help to facilitate friction, prevent sludges gathering in the engine and reduce leakages.
He said consumers should always look out for SON logos for locally made engine oils and SON registration numbers on imported engine oils.
He said these products have not met the requirement of the standard which is NIS 370 for engine oil, pointing out that efforts are already ongoing to apprehend the importer of these fake and substandard lubricant.
“We are appealing to Nigerians not to patronise these products
because we cannot vouch for the quality. We are also sending a stern warning to the importers of these fake products because we are going to apply the provisions of the SON Act 14 of 2015, where we are going to prosecute anybody we find importing these products and we would arrest them and prosecute them in line with the provisions of that act,” he stressed.
“We have mobilised our enforcement to fish out the importer of these products and definitely we are going to get them. We are also going to find where these products are stocked so that we can evacuate all of them and destroy them if they fail the quality test. We are going to subject these ones to test and see if they conform with the requirements of the standard,” he added.
He said the standards body is working market associations to ensure that these products do not circulate in the nation’s markets while also announcing plans to find out where these products are being stocked.
“Our target is the warehouses where these goods are stocked so that we can evacuate them, because they go to these warehouses to supply into our markets. If we pick two to five cartons, it does not really make much impact, so we are looking at the source of supply while we are also working with the market associations to combat the ones in the cartons,” he said.
“The Covid 19 is biting everyone very hard with everyone struggling to survive this difficult time, but when you now offer bad products to them it will only add to the pains they are going through. The damage of their vehicles will be too much for them to handle and we do not want this to happen. Whether Covid 19 or not, anybody importing these products will be arrested and prosecuted in line with the provisions of the Act,” he maintained.
He advised importers to stop bringing in substandard products and life threatening products such as electric cables, LPG cylinders, tyres and even building materials, advising importers and manufacturers to always visit SON for standards before producing or importing products.
“We do not disturb the activities of any importer who does the right thing, if you resister your products with SON nobody will disturb you and if you cannot visit our offices, you can reach us on our website www.SON.gov.ng to get any information you need from SON,” he said.
“We have different departments in SON and I will like to mention the laboratory services which are located in different parts of the country like in Lagos we have laboratories for food, chemistry situated in Ogba and Lekki while textile and leather services are in Kaduna. We have an engineering laboratory in Enugu where we test mechanical materials like steel bars, civil engineering materials such as cement, concrete and the likes. We also have equipment for calibration. The National Metrology Institute (NMI) in Enugu can do calibration and SON is equipped with all these laboratories and they are open for everybody,” he advised.
He advice consumers snd general public to avial information on substandard products to SON.
Manafa said all hands should be on deck fish out the bad element that want to tske undue advantage of the system