The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has shut four steel companies across the country for non-compliance to requirements of the Nigeria Industrial standards (NIS 117) and global best practices.
The agency also warned that any steel manufacturer caught circumventing quality assurance requirements henceforth will be prosecuted in line with the SON Act 14 of 2015.
He said the four firms were among those the agency investigated and conducted integrity tests recently.
The Director General, SON, Osita Aboloma, gave the warning at a meeting with Steel Stakeholders in Lagos stating that compliance to quality and standards would guarantee local and international patronage of steel products made in Nigeria.
He advised Steel manufacturers not to undermine one another through the production of substandard steel reinforcement bars under the name and code of rival firms and competitors, adding that such practice is to the detriment of the unsuspecting end-users who buy and use the products.
Aboloma also warned them to desist from tampering with any consignment put on hold by officials of the agency for suspected infractions during investigation and quality verifications, stressing that such acts by anyone in the steel or other sectors would be prosecuted.
He reiterated the agency’s commitment to ensure the safety of lives and property of Nigerians, part of which informed its recent nationwide monitoring of steel production.
The SON boss expressed concerns over the non-compliance of key stakeholders in the industry, maintaining that the agency would stop at nothing to bring sanity to Nigeria’s steel sector.
“Players producing without regards to NIS 117 will not be tolerated.” he said.
According to him, the federal government has been working tirelessly to support local manufacturing for export in order to improve foreign exchange earnings, assuring manufacturers of SON’s resilience and doggedness to protect genuine local production from unfair competition.
He disclosed that steps are underway to harmonize standards for steel production across West Africa, stressing that this would avail steel manufacturers the opportunity to produce and export to different countries within the region.
The SON boss urged steel manufacturers to imbibe the culture of self-regulation and monitoring, saying that it would help to prevent standards infractions. “It has been done in other sectors and would go a long way to eliminate faking and production of substandard steel products. It will also increase the collaboration among stakeholders and regulators as well as increase the confidence of consumers. I urge you to be quality vanguards, if you see something unwholesome, say something to SON,” he averred.
In his remarks, the Sectoral Executive, Basic Metal Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Femi Gbadegun, said the association was ready to imbibe the culture of producing good quality steel bars to meet the NIS standards.
He also restated the association’s commitment to partner with SON to rid Nigeria of substandard products.
“We are also taking steps to ensure that our members comply with standards. We are partners in progress and if you find any manufacturer that falls short of standards, take punitive measures,” he admonished.