The Founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Boniface Okechukwu Aniebonam has called on the Federal Government to return the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to the nation’s seaports urgently to ensure efficient and effective stoppage of fake and substandard products from entering Nigeria.
The NAGAFF Founder said chasing after such dangerous goods after they have entered the nation’s markets might prove difficult because of the fluid nature of trade.
Dr. Aniebonam made the call when the immediate past Director, Inspection and Compliance Directorate (ICD) of the SON, Mr. Obinna Manafa led the new Director, Mr. Mark Dakhling on a visit to NAGAFF Headquarters in Apapa, Lagos yesterday.
Aniebonam advised the management of SON to partner with other stakeholders to make case for their return to the seaports to be able to ensure that they deliver on their mandate to rid the country of fake and substandard products.
According to him, SON means life, because its functions have to do with the life of Nigerians and their property, citing the example of the havoc fake cables have done to lives and property as a result of fire outbreak occasioned by the substandard nature of such cables.
He submitted that it is an act of injustice blocking SON, with a wider scope of functions, from returning to the Ports, while NAFDAC officials are back in the same ports.
The Founder reiterated his call on the management of SON to reach out to players in the industry and people in Government to, as a matter of urgency, ensure the return of SON to the Ports in the interest of Nigerians.
“If the government does not see the urgent need to return SON to the Ports, then there is no need for any other agency, with regulatory powers, except the Nigeria Customs Service, to remain in the Ports,” said Aniebonam who commended SON for its efforts in ensuring that Nigerians are protected from fake and substandard products and urged it to continue to strive for the best because its failure will have serious repercussion on lives and property in the country.
He said NAGAFF appreciates the services being rendered by the Agency and pledged the association’s continued support for SON in its efforts to ensure standards in all products being used by Nigerians.
Speaking earlier, the immediate past Director, ICD, Mr. Obinna Manafa, on behalf of the Director General of SON, thanked NAGAFF for the immeasurable support given to Government Agencies operating at the Ports, particularly, SON.
He described NAGAFF as a dependable ally and urged the Association not to relent in its support to SON.
Manafa said the visit was to show appreciation to the Management of NAGAFF for the support he received and also to introduce the new Director to major Stakeholders in the industry, to make his job easier.
On his part, the new Director, Mr. Mark Dakhling thanked Dr. Aniebonam for the beautiful things he said about SON and for pledging NAGAFF continuous support for SON.
Dakhling expressed delight at the good reports he has received about NAGAFF adding that he is looking forward to a smooth working relationship with the number one Freight Forwarding Association in the country.