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SON indicts Customs over influx of fake goods in Nigerian ports

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has said that the lack of a joint examination of cargoes at the port with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) was responsible for the influx of fake products into the Nigerian market.
The Director General of the organisation, Mallam Farouk Salim dropped the hint during the destruction of some imported goods which include substandard electric cables, engine oil, gas cylinders, stuffed new tyres, substandard and unapproved cigarettes and substandard low-grade roofing sheets worth billions of naira.

The organisation noted that all the items seized were smuggled through Nigerian ports and were only intercepted by SON officials inside the markets.

The Director General explained that customs officers were only trained to collect revenue, saying that they do not know how to spot fake imported items.

“We are not always invited for joint inspection; in fact, our invitation for joint inspection is rare and in-between but I guarantee you that if our officers get opportunities to inspect these products, the moment they look at it from their experience, they would be able to detect the substandard goods.

“Don’t forget that our fellow brothers and sisters in the customs service are only trained to charge for duty payment, they have no idea what cable looks like or what substandard goods look like. Our own people are trained from the beginning to the end on how to check these products and know if they are substandard.

“We do not have unfettered access like the constitution said we should, the law in 2015 Act says that we must be allowed to be at the ports, it is not a favour that we should be waiting on someone to call us into the port, we as Nigerians and part of the government by law, unless the law is changed by the National Assembly, signed by Mr President, the law says that SON must and should be at the port, not at the discretion of any other organization,” he explained.

Salim lamented that the economy of Nigeria was being damaged daily due to the importation of substandard goods, describing the importers of the products as saboteurs, who were sponsoring insecurities and terrorism in the country.

(New Telegraph)
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