Hope Beckons As SON Charges Auto Spare Part Dealers On Need For Standardisation  – Independent Newspaper Nigeria


As part of the Standard Organisation of Nigeria’s (SON) mandate to sensitise and collaborate with stakeholders across all sectors of the economy, it recently met with stakeholders in Auto Spare Parts and Machinery Dealers Association (ASPMDA) market for a One-Day Sensitisation program tagged “Expanding Frontiers of Auto Spare Parts Sector via Standardisation.” 

Mallam Farouk Salim, Director General and Chief Executive of the organisation, while addressing the gathering, disclosed that the meeting was to seek better ways of collaboration between SON and the Auto parts dealers in the pursuit of standardisation and also ensure that only goods with high standards and quality are sold in their market in line with International Best Practices. 

But, attesting to the empowerment given to SON by the Act, the Director General, set it up by arresting and prosecuting offenders, thereby ensuring sanity in the system and simultaneously boosting the confidence of Consumers. 

He charged that those cloning successful brands to make quick gains would face the wrath of the law. 

According to Salim, Auto-Spare parts production is worth trillions of dollars. 

It is a very important sector in the development of the economy of the Nation and therefore said, there is no reason to import fake and substandard products into the country, especially when SON has already provided guidelines to guide Importers and Indigenous manufacturers on standardisation. 

He also spoke to them about the Organisation’s Conformity Assessment Program (SONCAP) for goods imported into the Country and the MANCAP scheme for locally manufactured goods. He advised them to enter the program as the benefits of having such certification for their products are enormous. 

The SON helmsman also took time to sensitise them about the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) and how it is going to be of great gain to Nigeria and Africa in general, so there was a need to take optimum advantage of this huge African market by ensuring that we are marketing and selling goods of high-quality standards. 

As such, ASPMDA should be a destination point for other neighbouring West African countries and beyond, and this can only be achieved through standardisation. 

The Director General, assured that SON has an open door policy to public complaints as well as innovative ideas that will help to sanitise the market from fake and substandard products to grow their businesses whilst advising them to also key into the new Products Authentication Mark (PAM) as it would allow for easy identification of fakes products in the market. 

Emeka Duru, the National Coordinator SON Sensitisation program and Senior Special Assistant to the DG on Special Duties, also addressed participants at the workshop on SON’s mandate and the ease of doing business initiative, urging stakeholders who do the right thing in having the protection and backing of the Organisation, while warning that those who engage in sharp practices will have no hiding place for them going forward. 

Presentations were made by different Directors drawn from the various departments in SON, after which the program ended with a Questions and Answers Session. 

In response to the move by SON, Mr. Cletus Iwegbue, a Spare Parts dealer, “The organisation is moving in the right direction as smuggling, grey imports of used vehicles and spare parts, and the lack of reliable data make the exact size of Nigeria’s vehicle market difficult to quantify. Challenges concerning the licensing and identification of vehicles further contribute to this difficulty”. 

In a similar vein, Mr. Felix Mabogunje said, “When it comes to automotive Spare Parts, most motorists, who bear the pain of fake products in Nigeria, believed that unless government tightens efforts on counterfeit products like in other developed countries, boosting investment and growth of indigenous technology, protection of consumers may remain an illusion. So, I am grateful for what SON has just done. It will go a long way in sanitsing the sector”. 

As gathered, one of the largest industries in Europe is that of old automobiles and parts. According to information from the Dutch Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT), “Nearly a million light-duty automobiles are exported from Europe to Africa each year.” Nigeria was the top-importing African nation of used cars in 2018, bringing in roughly 239 thousand vehicles from other countries. Every year, Ghana imports over 100,000 vehicles, the majority of which are old cars. According to NBS, Nigeria imported old cars and motorcycles worth a total of N2 trillion in a single year between 2018 and 2020. 

According to the Netherlands ILT, the majority of “Tokunbo” cars and spare parts imported into Nigeria come from European nations like Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy, and Germany and are typically outdated and emit below-standard emissions. 

The impact of importing vehicles with below-standard emissions is primarily felt by African citizens who breathe in the exhaust fumes that are released from the vehicle. These imported spare components are removed from vehicles that are nearing the end of their useful lives. 

Mr. Godwin Ogbeiwi, in his reaction to the consequences of fake Spare Parts, said, “Owners of vehicles in Nigeria have always grappled with the influx of fake products, ranging from spare parts to accessories, which are often sold as genuine parts. This to him has often led to vehicle owners coming to additional costs as a result of damage inflicted on their vehicles by substandard auto parts”. 

He lamentably said never in the past were batteries among the fake products feared in the market. 

But, with the increasing rate of inflation in the country and the high cost of products substandard batteries have joined this trend, many car owners now lament they have been victims of the situation is so bad that most vehicle owners prefer to park their vehicles at home until such time when they have enough money to go for standard auto parts validated by Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON). 

While applauding the Organisation’s move, Mr. Silas Adenekan said: “The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) should do more in checking the importation of adulterated products into the country and ensure it protects the interest of consumers. 

Adenekan urged SON to rev up its efforts in creating awareness of the quality and effects of substandard lubricants on engines and equipment, for producers of lubricants, automobile fitters, and end users”. 

He tasked the organisation with the need to carry out a thorough investigation, arrest and prosecute manufacturers and purveyors of substandard, and hazardous products and services. 

He said, “I want to charge the Standard Organisation of Nigeria to be up and doing in its responsibility of protecting the consumers through the elimination of substandard and hazardous auto Spare Parts from the marketplace.” 

He further urged SON to ensure Auto Spare Parts across markets in the country should be of high quality that could compete with international standards. 

Taking the leadership of SON by its words of assurance, particularly during the celebration of Its 50th anniversary late last year, when it disclosed that it was seeking the assistance of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria MAN) and members of the industry to improve the Act establishing the organization, there is no denying the fact that the organisation is on the right path to sanitising the Auto Spare Parts market. 

It would be recalled that Mallam Farouk Salim made the remark at the 50th-anniversary celebration of the organisation, where he said the agency, established by Act No. 56 of 1971 as amended by Act No. 14 of 2015, has since been empowered by its present Act with more powers to check the production, importation, circulation, and sale of sub-standard products across the country. 

He said the organisation as a corporate body has been at the heart of the industry, seating at the pinnacle of standardisation work in Nigeria. 

He assured, “Aware of our role in Industry, we in the last two years, concentrated on some critical areas that add value to the industry. 

“My predecessor spent a lot of time and effort to review the one we are using today after seven years, the act is not punitive enough, we need to go back to the National Assembly being a democratic society to seek a more improved treatment for criminals. 

“These criminal individuals destroy our industries, economy, and tax base and some of the sponsors of these activities are in the country. All these activities are tied down to substandard goods and people selling them. 

“A lot of factories will not be here today if substandard goods are allowed to fester in the country. It’s very important to the nation’s security”. 

Former Minister for Industry, Trade, and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, who was represented by Evelyn Ngige, permanent secretary in the ministry said the SON played a big role in facilitating trade and ensuring that local goods and services compete favourably in the international market and guarantee that excellence is maintained across all production lines in the country. 


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