By Kester Omu
Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) is set to work with the Phones and Allied Product Dealers (PAPDAN) at the Ikeja Computer Village towards curbing influx of sub-standard mobile products in the country.
This is just as the standard organisation gave importers 30-day window to commence proper registration of their IT products with SON.
This was the peak of discussions at a stakeholder meeting held at the Information Technology market to create awareness on the importance of electronic product registration.
Speaking at the forum, Director General of SON, Mr. Osita Aboloma, said there has recently been influx of substandard phones, computers and accessories into the country and that SON has received several complaints on not only on the influx of substandard products but also the phenomena of cloning and counterfeiting.
Aboloma, who was represented by the Director, Product Certification, SON, Mr. Tersso Orngudwem, noted that the need to ensure standardization across all segments of the economy is in line with the recent Executive Order by the Federal Government in which SON has been mandated to ensure strict compliance to quality of products where phones and accessories are enlisted whether produced locally or imported into the Nigerian market.
“Smartphones are communication necessity that has revolutionized the way we communicate in the world, but we are all aware of proliferation of substandard phones and accessories in the country and Nigeria is growing under the yoke of these products in terms of human and material losses.
“These products and others in the sector have direct impact on the socio-political life of the country, but have a high risk if not manufactured to desired standard specifications, hence they are classified by SON as life-endangering products.
“Therefore, my visit to the Computer Village today in an interactive session on standardisation and quality of regulation, through e-products registration in this case, could not have come at a better time than now,” he said.
Apart from ensuring the standard of the products, Aboloma also said that “SON also has to ensure that consumers have value for money spent on the mobile devices.”
Aboloma stated that the resultant effect of using substandard IT products is unquantifiable, just as inherent danger usually put to the health of buyers and users of the products portending a grave danger to life and properties.
“Current administration is determined to pursue zero tolerance on substandard products and if there is an immediate and even urgent need for Nigeria to embark upon improving positively are business strategies in the area of local production and strengthening of quality products that add value to the economy.
Aboloma, therefore, mandated PAPDA and other trade union leaders to ensure that “all your members importing phones, computers and accessories to, within one month period from today (September, 15) commence the process of e-product registration of all their phones/accessories, as part of our regulatory responsibility in order to enable SON to determine the product status have a product database for traceability.”
He said after the end of the grace period, full enforcement will commence and persons who fail to register will face the full wrath of law as prescribed in SON Act 14, 2015.
“All importers of branded phones must, within, this period liaise with product registration nit to work out the modalities of factory inspection by SON officials in those countries where these phones and accessories are manufactured to ascertain and certify the qualities of these communication equipment and gadgets before shipping them into the country,” he said.
Meanwhile, PAPDA President, Mr. Mr. Godfry Hyke Nwosu, while commending SON for having had a good working relationship with PAPDA in the last six years, said the session has been organised to further provide a forum for its members to ask questions directly from SOM officials on any issues bordering on their business.
He added that phone dealers were committed to consolidating the relationship towards sanitising the market of variables not supported by the country’s laws.
“Working with SON, we would always ensure that IT traders sell quality products that will be of high standard within Nigeria and international specifications to our customers in order to guarantee value for money and add value to the Nigerian economy,” he said.