By Foster Obi
Founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Boniface Okechukwu Aniebonam has once again highlighted the need for the return of officials of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to the nation’s seaports to ensure efficient and effective stoppage of fake and substandard products from entering Nigeria.
A statement signed by Stanley Ezeaga, National Public Relations Officer, quoted the NAGAFF Founder as saying that chasing after such dangerous goods after they have entered the nation’s markets might prove difficult because of the fluid nature of trade.
According to the statement, Dr. Aniebonam made these observations 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. He 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.
In the words of Dr. Aniebonam, SON means life, because their functions have to do with the life of Nigerians and their property.
The NAGAFF Founder gave 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.
He 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.
According to Dr. Aniebonam, 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.
He 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.
Dr. Aniebonam 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.
Mr. 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.
For his part, the new Director, Inspection and ICD, Mr. Mark Dakhling thanked Dr. Aniebonam for the beautiful things he said about SON and for pledging NAGAFF continuous support for SON.
Mr. 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.