The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has urged the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) to expose unscrupulous members hiding under the association to perpetuate heinous activities.
The Director General of SON, Mallam Farouk Salim, made the appeal at an interactive session with executives of ANLCA on Tuesday in Lagos.
Salim said that exposing these clearing agents would serve to protect and improve the image of the association as well as safeguard lives and properties of Nigerians.
“The impact of substandard goods on the nation is huge leading to loss of jobs and sometimes lives as we know that substandard goods have no economic value,” he said.
Salim reiterated the agency’s resolve to combat fake and substandard goods in the country and also to improve the lives of Nigerians through quality assurance.
Responding, the ANLCA President, Mr Tony Nwabunike, restated the association’s commitment to work with SON.
Nwabunike said that SON’s automation process scheduled to go full gear in year 2021 would make cargo clearance seamless at the ports.
“We are going forward and we are hoping to see a very wonderful automation of SON,” he said.
The ANCLA boss called for all hands to be on deck as the nation begins trading activities in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) scheduled to start in January 2021.
He assured the D-G SON that ANCLA would engage importers to always insist on standards whenever they import, stressing that standards must not be compromised.
“The trade pact would expose so many things, and on that note I will want you to buckle your shoes more on areas of partnership with Nigerian Customs to achieve seamless port operations.
“We are going to do so many things to challenge our African counterparts on areas of commodities and products.
“We will put our heads together and also tell our importers that whenever they go to import, they must always insist on standards and these standards cannot be compromised,” Nwabunike said.
He urged the standards regulatory body to increase its sensitisation programmes across the nation, saying ‘’the more Nigerians are sensitised, the more they would do the right thing.
“We know SON places paramount importance on sensitisation and we implore you not to relent in this regards.
“Every individual and property must be protected and we are going to work together,” he said.
Mr Kayode Farinto, Vice President, ANLCA, in his remarks, sought the inclusion of SON into Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System (NICIS).
“As experts in the industry, the association will assist SON to ensure that some members who are naturally non-conformists change their attitude in their dealings,” he said.