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SON Charges MSMEs On Standardisation

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) in collaboration with the Department of State Services (DSS), has intercepted a truck load of suspected substandard vegetable oil in Akure, Ondo State capital.

According to SON, both agencies in an enforcement exercise busted the syndicate who specialize in repackaging and rebranding suspected substandard vegetable oil, noting that the apprehension of the syndicate followed the receipt of classified information from concerned stakeholders in the State.

Some of the items recovered from the illegal factory situated along Irese Road, near Orange FM station in Akure, include thousands of jerry cans of different capacities and popular brands as well as two surface storage tanks of about 15,000 litres capacity each, according to the SON, Ondo State Coordinator, Paul Oke.

Meanwhile, the Director-General of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Osita Aboloma has urged operators of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) as well as agricultural firms located in Delta State and environs, to leverage the new office established by the agency in the state for registration of their products and access quality frameworks.

Aboloma added that the idea was to bring standardisation benefits closer to firms within the Delta-Edo axis so that more firms would integrate their processes into standardisation regimes of the SON.

Appreciating the state government for helping to make the office a reality, he said the administration had demonstrated good faith in accommodating the SON within its territory, urging other states to follow the good example of Delta.

The SON DG also promised that technical and support staff would be deployed to the office shortly to make it functional and to fast-track registration and other formalities within the zone, in line with the Federal Government’s Ease of Doing Business mantra.

To that extent, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, would be assisted in having their products and processes registered, as a way of helping them improve their processes, become more marketable, and their products more competitive in the international market.

Commenting on the standards enforcement activity, Aboloma, vowed to partner with food industries on food fortification, maintaining that the agency has developed various standards for fortificants to support the federal government’s quest to combat malnutrition in the country.

“SON is working with industries, under the umbrella of Association of Food Beverage and Tobacco Employers, NAFDAC, development partners like UNICEF, GAIN and other stakeholders and interested parties to review these standards periodically to ensure healthy living by our people”, he said.

Speaking on behalf of the SON boss, Paul Oke stated that the agency benefitted from the existing robust collaboration with the DSS to carry out surveillance activities that led to the eventual arrest of the leader of the syndicate, Akabueze Okwuchukwu who he said has been in the business for the past four years unnoticed under very unhygienic environment.

Preliminary investigations, according to the SON State coordinator revealed that the suspect has no evidence of company registration, disclosing that samples of the suspected substandard vegetable oil have been taken for laboratory tests and analysis while the truck and suspect are in custody of the DSS for further investigation to apprehend other collaborators and the source of the consignment in the truck.

Oke reiterated the Director General SON’s resolve to ensure that the perpetrators of substandard products distribution face the full weight of the law by being prosecuted under the SON Act No. 14 of 2015 once investigations are concluded.

He encouraged stakeholders in Ondo State in particular and the nation in general to continue to support SON and other regulatory and security agencies with useful information.

“Endeavour to report unwholesome acts relating to the distribution of substandard products in the interest of the populace and the nation’s economy”, he charged.
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