27th May, 2011
The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) says it will soon produce a list of corrupt officials of Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) at the seaports.
Chief Boniface Aniebonam, Founder of the association, told a news conference in Lagos on Thursday that freight forwarders would assist the new Director-General of SON, Chief Ikem Odumodu, with such information.
According to him, identified corrupt officers of SON should be named with facts and evidence to enable the new administration identify the â€œextremely bad and disloyal officersâ€.
He said that the area of focus would be the Enforcement Unit, which oversees importers of cable wires and other life-endangering products.
Aniebonam said the searchlight would also be beamed on those in the Department of Standards Organisation of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP).
â€œWe must at this point encourage and advise all NAGAFF members to report any SON official or agent giving or taking bribes to circumvent SONCAP regulations,â€ he said.
Aniebonam said that some personnel of SON should be retired immediately to give way to success and prosperity in the organisation.
â€œWe are definitely compiling their names for the use of the Honourable Minister of Commerce and SON Council members for consideration,” the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quotes the freight forwarder as saying.
Aniebonam advised that the new director-general of SON should take a second look at the measures being taken to penalise defaulters of the SONCAP scheme.
He said that the penalty fees and deposit of N500, 000 and N1 million respectively should be reviewed â€œto avoid a system that will increase smuggling activitiesâ€.
The freight forwarder said that with time SONCAP might not be in position to meet the expectations of government in checking the circulation of sub-standard products in the country.
Aniebonam said the new Director General of SON should expect the support of patriotic Nigerians in his anti-corruption war in Nigerian ports and border stations.
â€œWe must educate and enlighten our importers and make sure that they obtain SONCAP certificates for all their imports, he said.
According to him, it is most unfortunate that Nigerian traders use their hard-earned money to buy goods only for such goods to be confiscated, seized or destroyed.
He said that importers were often prosecuted and made to incur additional payments for the destruction of their goods by SON.