The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has declared that it will henceforth stop registration of products with similar business name with an existing brand to eliminate substandard goods.
Its Director-General, Malam Farouk Salim, made this known on Thursday, while receiving the Alaba International Amalgamated Traders Association, during a visit to SON office in Lagos.
Salim said the action was to tackle the products that hide under the names of successful brands to shortchange the unsuspecting consumers.
He said that the issue of cloning brands could not be handled alone by SON, promising to put a stock of the products registered and certified by the standards body.
“Anytime a new product comes and looks similar to another product registered, and is already popular in the market, we will try to discourage registration of that product with such a name.
“This is to ensure proper identification of already registered products.
“It will increase traceability of products that are not fit to be in circulation,” the director-general said.
Salim also said that the agency would increase its level of engagement with the stakeholders, including the Alaba International Market traders.
He said that the move would help to protect the interest of business community, while also safeguarding the lives and property.
The director-general said that the agency would work with the stakeholders to sensitise the business community on the need to ensure safety and standards.
Salim, however, warned that unscrupulous individuals would be prosecuted, if found wanting.
“We are here to work with them and to make their jobs easy. We are to protect their interest, because they are Nigerians, employing people and they are doing what needs to be done.
“We are looking forward to cooperating with them to ensure that every other individual in their association, not doing the right thing, is encouraged to do the right thing in the future.
“We are inviting stakeholders and the plan is to work together with them to sensitise and train them on safety of lives and property.
“As for those still breaking the laws, we will enforce our law, either by court or through the appropriate regulatory, agency,” he said.
Earlier, the Executive Chairman of the association, Mr Fabian Ezeorjika, said there was existing partnership with SON toward achieving a substandard-free market.
Ezeorjika reaffirmed the association’s commitment to working with SON to fish out the bad eggs in the market.
He said that the association had formed a Joint Task Force, comprising SON officials.
According to him, we are currently running a ‘buyer beware campaign’ in the market.
“SON has destroyed a lot of products, while some of our members are in court.
“We are going to increase the level of collaboration with SON, because we want to bring an end to substandard goods,” Ezeorjika said.
He called on SON to encourage local production, saying that this was a surest way to create wealth and job opportunities for the nation’s teeming youths.
“We need to create a conducive environment for local production. Importation only creates job opportunities for people we import from.
“We must create a platform to boost local production,” the association chairman said.