• In Lagos, Abia, 3 others over infractions

BY CHINYERE OBIORA, LAGOS – The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has clampdown on 13 steel factories across the country for standards infractions and illegal operations.

The Chairman of SON task force on steel production, Mr Enebi Onucheyo, said the companies located in Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Abia and Edo States have been shut until further notice

He told Journalists in Lagos on Monday that the action followed a nationwide market surveillance undertaken by the SON Task Force between November 2019 and January 2020.

According to Onucheyo, samples of various steel products were obtained from the open market as well as the facilities of the companies during the surveillance period for standard testing.

The Task Force Chairman said due to SON’s classification of steel bars as life-endangering products, the Nigeria Industrial Standards (NIS) has made provision for Unique Identification Marks (UIMs) for every locally manufactured or imported steel bars for easy traceability.

Onucheyo explained that “Laboratory tests and analysis carried out on the samples revealed that most of them failed to meet the minimum requirements for diameter and mass per meter as provided in the Nigeria Industrial Standard (NIS 117:2004).

“These are critical parameters in the standard for reinforcement bars for concrete.”

He said the decision to embark on the closure of affected companies followed earlier warnings to all steel manufacturing companies over observed infractions with directives to ensure strict compliance with the requirements of the NIS 117:2004.

Onucheyo expressed regrets that some of the firms were culpable of deliberately tampering with products earlier placed on hold by SON in their facilities while an unregistered identification mark “GE” was discovered in one of the products sampled.

The Task Force Chairman said the exercise would be a continuous one in furtherance of SON’s resolve to protect Nigerian consumers from the dangers associated with substandard and life-endangering products in view of the incessant buildings and structures collapse in the country.

He said the exercise was also meant to ensure that Nigerian consumers derive optimum value for their hard earned money.

Also speaking on the standards enforcement activity, SON’s Director General, Osita Aboloma stressed the need for Nigerian manufacturers and consumers to promote quality made-in-Nigeria products.

The SON boss noted that such positive energy will give Nigeria competitive edge as the country prepares for full implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

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