MAN LOGOThe growing concerns for the patronage of made-in- Nigeria products under the present administration has seen a renewed vigour on the part of regulatory bodies, namely: the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria [MAN] to achieve that laudable objective.

Justifying the need for the synergy of cooperation, the Acting Director-General of SON, Dr. Paul Angya, while addressing news men in Lagos, said, Nigeria has for long been operating what could be termed a “a cargo economy” that is, mainly import- dependent system whereby the country has been spending billions of dollars at the foreign exchange market just to import goods and services from other nations across the world.

Angya who noted that the high rate of consumption of foreign products by end-users and consumers has become so chronic that anything tagged: ‘made-in-Nigeria’ is already dead on arrival at the local market.

SON, he said, is expected to ensure compliance via monitoring and enforcement of standards. Insiders within the agency disclosed that the job has never been easy especially given the vastness of the country, coupled with the desperation of economic saboteurs, importers of fake and sub-standard products and other sharp practices within the system.

To this end, the SON boss said he has given notice to importers of products that are available locally to look for something else to do or pack up, maintaining that the country could no longer afford to be a dumping site for all manner of imported products which in turn kill local industries.

According to Engr. Bede Obayi, Head, SON’s Inspectorate and Compliance Directorate, 80 percent of sub-standard products circulating in Nigeria are imported ones.

The agency has therefore continued to beam search light on imported materials. It recently launched its operations into a single window known as Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System [NICIS] for effective monitoring of all products billed for Nigeria from overseas.

“We gathered that the integration of SON’s e-certificates and services into the NICIS for processing SONCAP, Form “M” and Pre-Arrival Assessment Report [PAAR] would facilitate trade and block leakages. Based on the scheme, all importers are required to key into the system for seamless importation. The agency has therefore drawn up a programme to train operators in the maritime, airports and land borders on how to access the electronic device.”

Winning the “Buy Nigeria” campaign indeed requires the concerted efforts of all stakeholders, public, private sectors including SMEs, manufacturers, importers, exporters, chambers of commerce, business community as well as governmental and non-governmental bodies.

According to the president, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria [MAN], Dr. Frank Jacobs Udemba through the instrumentality of SON regulatory regimes, the manufacturing sector of the economy has since stepped up its operations to ensuring that made in Nigeria products adhere to global best practices.

The media has been awash with reports of how some local manufacturers have since resorted to shipping their products to other countries only to label and bring them into Nigeria as imported ones in order to attract patronage. For instance, made-in-Aba shoes are said to be among the affected products that migrate out of Nigeria only to resurface with foreign labels.



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