Having failed to meet the minimum requirement standards for production and importation, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), has destroyed LPG cylinders, aluminium and galvanised roofing sheets worth over N450 million.
The Director, Inspectorate and Compliance Directorate, SON, Obiora Manafa, said the goods being destroyed were classified as life endangering, and unfit for consumption.
Manafa, at a destruction exercise in Lagos, explained that, despite efforts aimed at curbing the menace, the goods still found their way into Nigerian shores.
He reaffirmed SON’s commitment to leaving no stone unturned in its fight against substandard goods.
In his words, “We are here to destroy some substandard goods seized from some unscrupulous importers and marketers. Among goods to be destroyed include cylinders, aluminium roofing sheets, and galvanised steel roofing sheets. The goods we are destroying are the ones that failed the critical parameters and we cannot allow them to get into circulation because they are life-threatening.”
According to him, these goods came from different sources where some were evacuated from warehouses and intercepted on the high ways.
He said the standards for roofing sheets are very clear, stressing that the standards for aluminium profile roofing sheets specify a minimum thickness of 0.4mm.
He added, “Some of these roofing sheets come in 0.2, 0.3mm that are low gauge quality. These are the kinds of roofing sheets people use for a short time and they are destroyed and at the end of the day, consumers do not get value for their money spent. We are not happy destroying these goods because it is a loss, not only to the importer but also to the nation. One thing about destroying these kinds of products is that they are products you burn, but for the gas cylinders we cannot burn them, but see how we can recycle them to generate revenue for the nation.”
He said some of the products seized were imported from China and Turkey, and did not come with SONCAP certificates.
He noted that the SON Act has helped in reducing the preponderance of fake and substandard goods in Nigeria, as the agency also deploys sensitisation programmes to create awareness on the negative impact of substandard goods on lives and property.
Also speaking, the Group Head, LPG, SON, Nwaoma Olujie, said the destruction exercise was in response to the series of avoidable gas explosions in the nation, noting that the impact of gas explosions is unquantifiable, as lives and property are being destroyed.
She said: “At SON, we classified LPG cylinders as life-endangering products and in recent times, you can take a cue from a gas explosion in Kaduna, in January this year, and there have also been series of gas explosions in Lagos. We have seen the impact of these gas explosions where lives and property have been destroyed and this is why we are taking a lot of safety precautions to ensure that cylinders imported into the country meet the minimum requirement of the standard.
“We have standards for LPG which is NIS 69 and for all the valves and regulators NIS 220. The valves fitted into these cylinders must comply with NIS 220 as well as the regulators,” she stated.
She pointed out that some importers indulge in this nefarious act to short–change the Nigerian consumers, advising that importation of gas cylinders is not a business for all.