The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has called on the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to implement stiffer penalties for scrupulous importers and manufacturers of fake and substandard goods in the country.

According to MAN, stricter penalties would serve as a deterrent to others who seek to indulge in the illicit trade.

MAN President, Mansur Ahmed, at an interactive session with SON, reaffirmed his agency’s readiness to partner with SON in order to check the prevalence of fake and sub-standard products across the country, particularly among imported goods.

Meanwhile, SON Director General, Farouk Salim, urged trade associations to expose unscrupulous importers of fake and substandard goods, saying that collaborating with MAN would reduce the preponderance of substandard goods in the country.

Mansur urged the federal government to always encourage and sustain anything that would result to economic and industrial growth.

“In as much as MAN duly support the backward integration programme of government, it is our sincere opinion that this meeting will take a critical look at some raw materials that are not presently produced in Nigeria which our members need to import in order to keep their factories working, by classifying these items as essential raw materials and giving them the status of low tariff.”

Salim said his agency is the apex standardisation body in the country and working in line with the standardisation policy of the federal government that places high premium on getting rid of substandard and counterfeit products.

He stressed that SON was not restricting itself to the enforcement of standards but also putting in place innovation to ensure that counterfeiting did not occur in the first place.

According to him, SON management requires MAN members as critical stakeholders in all efforts to promote made in Nigeria goods.

He said going forward, SON would intensify its partnership with MAN to identify genuine local producers, saying that whatever existing benefits the association enjoys would be improved upon.