ASPAMDA: SON officials shut several warehouses, shops

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has shut several shops in the Auto Spare Parts and Machinery Dealers Association (ASPAMDA) market along the Lagos/Badagry expressway and arrested notorious counterfeiters and importers of fake and sub-standard goods.

The market had come under SON’s hammer following several surveillance exercises undertaken as a result of constant complaints by the public who have endured years of losing their monies to the merchants of fake auto parts, machineries, batteries etc.

The Director General Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mr. Osita Aboloma, said of much concern to the agency is the fraudulent cloning and faking of WSK Rotor Heads by one Ikechukwu Egwuatu, the manager of Munduo Auto Limited despite a seal order by a Court of competent jurisdiction.

He frowned at the practice of cloning successful brands by unscrupulous business men to make quick gains, depriving the trade mark owners of their benefit and consumers of quality products.

According to him, the SON Act No. 14 of 2015 empowers the agency to arrest and prosecute offenders and warned that they would make it impossible for fakers and purveyors of substandard products to thrive.

He said: “This man has being importing substandard Rotor Heads with another person’s trade mark. He was arrested three years ago and rather than refraining from the illegal Act, he decided to go to court and predictably lost at the court. One would think that good reasoning would have made him to refrain and engage in a legal business besides working on getting his own trademark but unfortunately he has refused all entreaties and we were left with no other option but to bring to bear the full weight of the law on him to serve as deterrent”.

The SON boss who was represented by the agency’s Head of Market Surveillance, Mr. Isa Suleiman said SON is working on every sector to bring sanity and also raise the confidence of genuine manufacturers, importers and consumers. He said standards are improved and reviewed regularly to meet up with current technology.

On the arrest of several battery and tyre importers and the sealing of their warehouses in the market, he explained that many of them have been found to be engaged in illegal relabeling of popular battery brands with low quality varieties. He added that they go to the extent of inputting wrong capacities to the batteries, deceiving the public.

Furthermore, he said the agency has done a lot to rid the country of substandard tyres by carrying out surprise raids on unscrupulous importers insisting that it is imperative for motorists to observe safety standards in the purchase of tyres.

On the call by some section of the traders for more enlightenment and sensitization on standardization decrying the huge amount they lose when apprehended by the agency, The SON chief said they have no reason to import substandard products into the country especially  when the agency have guidelines in place for imports and indigenous manufacturers on standardisation.

In his words: “We have SON Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP) for importers to ensure that whatever they import is in conformity with the nation’s standards  from the country of origin while the MANCAP scheme is a detailed guideline for  local manufacturers to ensure quality and standard in the production process. No importer or local manufacturer have any reason to import or manufacture products that are not in conformity with the nation’s industrial standards.  We insist that all importers, manufacturers and indeed dealers’ products must be registered for traceability”.

Furthermore, he advised Nigerians to desist from buying used tyres noting that it is a sure way to sudden death. He encouraged the people to buy new tyres and ensure that they check the date of manufacture, storage condition and packaging.  He also advised that the newer the date of manufacture, the better for the buyer.

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