The Standards Organisation of Nigeria has advised importers of household products to consider local production and create job opportunities for Nigerians.

The Director General of SON, Mr Osita Aboloma, made this known at a one-day sensitisation programme with importers and dealers in electronics at Alaba International Market, Lagos.

The DG, who was represented by the Director, Inspectorate and Compliance Directorate, Mr Obiora Manafa, said the organisation was ready to work with local manufacturers to make their goods exportable in a bid to earn foreign exchange for the Nigerian economy.

Acknowledging the role of local production in economic development, he said establishing manufacturing outfits would go a long way to save the country’s foreign exchange, adding that most of the imported products could be manufactured locally.

He advised importers to get the required standards to make their products competitive, saying that with the African Continental Free Trade Agreement signed by President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigerian manufacturers must improve so as not to be overwhelmed by foreign goods.

 The DG said, “Instead of faking established brands, build your own brand and make money from it. We are also advising them to go into manufacturing; we cannot continue to depend on imports; many big importers have gone into manufacturing.

 “Nigerian cables are the best. Why should we import? The machinery to produce cables is not too expensive. We are open anytime to help you to select the materials and equipment and you can start producing. This is better for you and for the economy at large.”

 According to him, the fight against substandard products is huge and a lot of people are in detention for dealing in substandard products.

 He said their detention would serve as deterrent to importers who had intentions to indulge in the illegal act.

 He said, “SON has in its warehouse substandard electric cables waiting for court order to be destroyed while we have obtained court orders for some of them. Very soon, we are going to do destruction so that people will see the extent we have gone in this fight and we are not going to relent on our effort.

 “It is a very huge market filled with a lot of smugglers bringing in goods without SONCAP certificates. We fish out these people by going to their warehouses and even outside the market. It is a continuous fight and we are making progress.”

 The DG said the electronic dealers had agreed to join hands with SON to sanitise the Alaba International Market and bring back its lost glory as one of the biggest markets in West Africa.

 The President, Electrical Dealers Association of Nigeria, Mr Stephen Agabige, said a committee had been established to ensure sanity in the market.

 SON also warned cable manufacturers and importers on the need to always adhere to global best practices in their operations.

 He explained that there was the need to protect and sustain Nigerian cable brands, which he said were priced as one of the best in the world.

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