In a bid to ensure and improve lives through enforcing standards, the Director General of Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mallam Farouk Salim issued a 3 months ultimatum to steel manufacturers and distributors to remove substandard stell bars from the markets in the country.
Speaking during an emergency meeting held at the SON Ogba Complex in Lagos, Mallam Farouk appealed to all steel manufacturers and marketers in the country to put their house in order as failure to comply will result in prosecutions and serious jail time for offenders.
He cited the recent spate of building collapse which have claimed hundreds of lives saying it is a big blow on the nation and especially the construction industry which the steel sector falls under.
According to him the consequences of these disasters has raised concerns and the onus is always on Standards Organisation of Nigeria to get to the root cause of the issue with the view to finding a lasting solution.
He advised that moving forward both the manufacturers and distributors have been given two months to form associations for self regulation and an organised way of articulating industry challenges to ensure strict compliance and also root amongst their members those engaging in such inimical acts .
According to Salim the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which legally took effect from January this year means that Nigeria’s borders are be open and any substandard products sold may be rejected thereby hindering economic growth
Mallam Salim however reaffirmed SON’s mandate to foster trade and economic growth and not impede it stating that the agency would not allow any dubious business persons to destroy lives, property and scarce resources.
He therefore craved the indulgence of the steel industry to cooperate with SON so that wealth and value can be created without infractions, saying, “if you work with me I will work with you but if you work against me the law will be upheld to the letter”.
Mallam Salim also disclosed that after the expiration of the three months moratorium to dealers in steel the agency will commence full scale enforcement, mopping of substandard steel in factories and markets and if found culpable prosecutions will follow immediately.