The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) have set up joint Committees to ensure seamless collaboration towards tackling the menace of importation of substandard and life-threatening products through the Nation’s entry points.
This indication was given during a working visit of the Director General, SON, Mallam Farouk Salim to the Customs Comptroller General, Rtd. Colonel Ahmadu Ali and his management in Abuja recently in furtherance of the Federal Government’s directive on SON return to the entry points to tackle substandard imports head-on.
Welcoming the SON Management team, Colonel Ali stated that an effective collaboration between the NCS and SON in tackling substandard imports from the entry points is in the best interest of the Nation to protect its people and the economy.
He acknowledged the need for SON expertise in identifying suspected substandard products during the joint examination of cargoes, stressing that the scanners can only identify products but unable to determine their quality and genuineness.
In his words “I am happy you are back to the entry points and will be there 24/7 to complement our job and make it better so that when any consignment exits the Ports we are sure that we are releasing what is genuine to Nigerians”
The Comptroller General reiterated the need for seamless synergy among the operatives of the two agencies and directed that information be passed to all Commands in that respect.
Speaking earlier, SON Director General, Mallam Farouk Salim acknowledged the existing robust collaboration between the two agencies especially in the last eleven years, without which according to him, his agency would be unable to make any inroad in tackling substandard imports.
According to him, the directive for SON return to the entry points necessitated an even more cordial and respectful relationship to protect the Nation from the menace of substandard products and its attendant negative consequences, including factory closures, joblessness, banditry, kidnapping etc.
Mallam Salim stated that SON has no desire to slow down the cargo clearance process and appealed to the NCS to assist the organisation in ensuring that suspected substandard cargo can be further examined outside the Ports either in SON facility or that of the Consignee.
The DG SON disclosed that great efforts have been made to reform the organisation’s systems to promote efficiency and quicker turn-around time, including staff re-orientation, training and prompt consequence management.