Written by Godfrey AKON

SON seals 13 steel companies over infractions

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON, says its National Steel Task Force has sealed 13 steel factories in Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Abia and Edo States over violation of standards.

Chairman of the task force, Engr. Enebi Onucheyo, said in a statement, that the companies remain shut until further notice.

According to Enebi, their closure followed a nationwide market surveillance carried out by the task force between November 2019 and January 2020, which uncovered various infractions.

He said samples of various steel products were obtained from the open market as well as the facilities of the companies during the surveillance exercises.

The SON boss noted that the agency classifies steel bars as life-endangering products; as a result the Nigeria industrial standards provides for unique identification marks for every locally manufactured or imported steel bar for easy traceability.

 He however, disclosed that laboratory tests and analysis carried out on the samples revealed that most of them failed to meet the minimum requirements for ′diameter′ and ′mass per meter′ as provided in the Nigeria industrial standard, NIS 117:2004.

While stating that these measurements were critical parameters in the standard for reinforcement bars for concrete, Enebi said he had earlier issued warnings to all steel manufacturing companies on observed infractions with directives to ensure strict compliance with the requirements of the NIS 117:2004.

He disclosed that some of the companies were found to have tampered with products earlier placed on hold by SON in their facilities while an unregistered identification mark "GE" was discovered in one of the products sampled.

According to him, the exercise would be a continuous one in furtherance of the SON commitment to protect Nigerian Consumers from the dangers associated with substandard and life-endangering products in view of the incessant collapse of buildings and structures across the country.

He further stated that the exercise was also aimed at ensuring that Nigerian Consumers get optimum value for their hard earned money.

While speaking on the standards enforcement, the Director General of SON, Osita Aboloma, reiterated the need to promote quality made-in-Nigeria products preparatory to the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, AfCFTA.

Aboloma stated that strict enforcement of compliance with the requirements of the Nigeria industrial standards would facilitate export and prevent dumping into Nigerian markets.

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