SON Clamps Down on Syndicate Importing Expired Household Consumables
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) yesterday stormed a three storey building of 14 flats located at Kirikiri town, in Lagos, seizing expired household consumables and cosmetics worth billions of naira. The products were imported into the country by a syndicate dealing in substandard and expired products.
Products discovered at the warehouse included baby diapers, body creams, sanitary pads, detergents and other household items with expiration dates between 2009 and 2015. The most worrisome according to our correspondent, are expired baby diapers which have negative effects on babies.
Director General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Osita Aboloma explained that the agency, courtesy of a tip off, stormed the warehouse, stocked with all sorts of expired products, pointing out that when a product expires it loses its active ingredients, loses its efficacy and can no longer be fit for purpose. He said as a result of this, the importer would be prosecuted based on the new SON Act number 14 of 2015 which gives the agency the power of prosecution.
Aboloma who was represented by the Director, Compliance Directorate, SON, Engr. Bede Obayi said “What we have discovered is a dubious warehouse where people churn out products to open markets and supermarkets. We are going to carry out further investigations and initiate the process of recall using the sales/supply records through our offices located nationwide.
We are going to escalate the recall process when we get all the details of their transactions. Anywhere we find these products in circulation, SON would pick them up at the cost of this importer. SON can no longer tolerate this nefarious act and people who are out to kill Nigerians in the name of merchandise.
This is not acceptable to SON and we cannot take this.” Aboloma further stated: “Imagine a product that expired in 2015 being used in wrapping up a baby in 2017. The effect on the baby, of course would be negative reaction. We have baby powders that have expired since 2013 and four years after, the products are still going into the market. Before they sell, they remove the expiry dates and put new dates to deceive the unsuspecting consumers and when you buy these products, you think they are products that can help you, not knowing that they are products that would cause you all sorts of diseases.”
According to the SON official, many innocent people suffer without knowing the root causes of their illnesses, maintaining that the importers of expired and substandard products are killing and robbing innocent Nigerians of their hard-earned money.
He urged Nigerians to join hands with the agency in its quest to safeguard Nigerians against the hazards of substandard products, adding that SON would continue to work hard to achieve its zero tolerance for substandard products in the country.
“These products are popular and imported brands which show that these people go overseas to buy products that are close to their expiry dates and bring them here. We have discovered products stuffed in every part of the building. This tells you the magnitude of crime that this Importer is committing bringing in these magnitude of substandard products,” Engr. Obayi stated.