From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos
As the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) sets May 21st deadline for E-Registration of all goods in Nigeria's market, traders and market leaders have described the agency's electronic registration initiative as fraudulent and another avenue for extortion by the agency.
The traders, who spoke with Peoples Daily in Lagos said since all products are registered with SON to ascertain its quality, "the newly introduced e-product registration programme initiated by the regulatory agency is baseless," Matthew Uso, a market leader in Oke Arin Market said.
Uso also wondered why the agency would begin to confiscate goods in the market for not registering electronically with SON, after bearing SON's logo certifying such product for public consumption.
"I learnt they will begin to raid markets for products that are not electronically registered, it is fraudulent! They should go to the manufacturing companies, ports and borders to ensure the implementation of their programme; they should leave the poor traders goods alone", he lamented.
In Alaba electronics market, traders said the e-product registration programme does not affect sellers of imported used electronic 'tokunbo', but that major manufacturers of electronics will register with SON.
Alaba traders also described the agency's on-line registration initiative as another means of extortion by the agency officials; "Now that the deadline has been given, various officials would start to inspect markets and confiscating goods, which will cost us fortunes to get back; SON should update their data base with the list of products manually registered with them", some of them said.
Sunny Okorie however wondered the fate of traders who had stockpiled goods as the deadlines approaches.
Mrs. Iyeola Rose, on her part, called for more enlightenment and sensitisation of traders on the program, insisting that the program will benefits big-scale traders while medium enterprise might suffer the brunt. "We know that in Nigeria things don't work out as planned, because this a good idea but the agency should give it a face-lift that will make it beneficial for both big and small-scale investments in the country; if products are not registered it is the manufacturers that should be held responsible, not raiding the traders of their goods", she stated.
At a meeting in Lagos with importers and manufacturers, the Director-General of SON, Mr. Joseph Odusolu stated that the move is an international standard requirement that identifies genuine manufacturers, enhance traceability and help protect consumers from substandard products.
Published On: Thu, Feb 28th, 2013