By Oluwatobi Opusunju
Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) has given all IT products importers in the country 30 days ultimatum to register all their IT goods, even as it partners Phones and Allied Product Dealers of Nigeria (PAPDAN) to mitigate against the influx of substandard IT goods as well as the cloning of IT goods at Computer Village, Ikeja, also known as Otigba Market.
The Director-General of SON, Osita Aboloma made this known recently at a stakeholder forum held at the famous IT market in Lagos. While speaking at the forum which was aimed at shedding light on the disadvantages of using substandard phones, he disclosed that the SON through investigations discovered unprecedented influx of substandard IT goods like mobile devices including phones, computers and accessories as well as an increasing rate of cloning and counterfeiting of IT goods.
“Smartphones have revolutionized the way we communicate in the world but we are all aware of proliferation of substandard phones and accessories in the country and Nigeria is growing under the yoke of these products in terms of human and material losses.
“These products and others in the sector have direct impact on the socio-political life of the country but have high risk if not manufactured to desired standard specifications; hence they are classified by SON as life-endangering products. Therefore, my visit to the Computer Village today on an interactive session on standardisation and quality of regulation, through e-products registration in this case, could not have come at a better time than now,” said Aboloma.
Many consumers are often fooled into buying fakes with similar appearance to genuine handsets. The SON’s boss said all stakeholders should be worried about increasing reports around the world of incidents where mobile phone batteries have exploded and injured people – all linked to the use of counterfeit or sub-standard batteries.
Counterfeit and some third party manufactured batteries do not meet all of the safety requirements that prevent these incidents. Non-genuine batteries may not have safety circuits which regulate voltage, current and heat within the battery. And without these stringent safety measures the battery can short circuit and explode or heat up and burn people.
Aboloma urged PAPDA and other trade union leaders to ensure that all its members comply with the directives and register their products within the next 30 days or risk facing the wrath of the law as stated in the Organization’s ACT 14, 2015.
“All your members importing phones, computers and accessories within one month are to commence the process of e-product registration of all their phones/accessories, as part of our regulatory responsibility in order to enable SON to determine the product status and have the product database for traceability,” he said.
“All importers of branded phones must within this period liaise with product registration and to work out the modalities of factories inspection by SON officials in those countries where these phones and accessories are manufactured to ascertain and certify the qualities of these communication equipment and gadgets before shipping them into the country,” he added.
PAPDA president, Godfrey Hyke Nwosu, while commending SON, said the association will adhere to its unwavering commitment to consolidate its relationship of six years with the organization by making sure traders comply with the country’s law on imported IT goods.
“Working with SON, we would always ensure that IT traders import quality products of high standard, and international specifications to our customers in order to guarantee value for money and add value to the Nigerian economy,” said Nwosu.