June 13, 2024
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THE Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has stated that plans are underway to introduce an initiative called the Product Authentication Mark (PAM) to checkmate the influx of substandard goods into the country.

SON’s Director General, Farouk Salim, explained that the scheme is specifically targeted at imported goods, noting that local manufacturers are not exempted, but could key into the programme voluntarily.

At a stakeholders’ sensitisation forum, Salim said with PAM, unsuspecting consumers now have an additional tool to check if a product is authentic before making a purchase. “Before buying products, you have the opportunity to scan the QR code or send an SMS to 281 to know about the authenticity of the product.”

Fielding questions as to why it is not voluntary for local manufacturers to key into the project, he said local manufacturers are already fighting substandard goods in the country, noting that any additional cost to manufacturers would only spell doom for a sector that is grappling with multifaceted challenges. “The mark is like a Naira mark, but we are planning to use specialised machines, papers, and security codes. Anybody breaking the rules would be prosecuted, their goods seized and the courts will permit us to destroy said goods.”

He advised importers and dealers in substandard goods to desist, saying that SON is always on top of its game to checkmate activities of unscrupulous elements. He also said plans are underway to upgrade the SON Act, pointing out that there would be a public hearing in the National Assembly with hopes that the bill is passed and signed.

Also speaking, Director of Product Certification, SON, Onucheyo Enebi, said the introduction of PAM became necessary because they had been inundated with complaints from consumers, over the influx of substandard goods into the country.

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