The Standards Organisation of Nigeria says it has sealed a Chinese warehouse stocked with suspected substandard phones.
SON, in a statement on Thursday, quoted the organisation’s Head of Inspectorate and Compliance, Mr. Bede Obayi, as saying that the move was to restate its mandate of ensuring that only goods that met the minimum requirements of the Nigeria Industrial Standards would be sold in the Nigerian markets.
Obayi said during the enforcement exercise in Ikeja that the warehouse had mobile phones that were not registered with SON; neither could they be linked with any registered manufacturer nor importer.
This, he stressed, could make tracing the phones impossible.
Obayi said, “We have said that after January 1, 2014 that any phone we see in Nigeria that we cannot trace the manufacturers and importers or which is not registered, will be seized. Phone manufacturers and importers must register their products with us to help us to know if these products qualify to be paraded in our markets.
“What we have here today are different varieties of phones showing you what these people from Asia are doing here in Nigeria, thereby ruining our economy by bringing substandard phones which are not acceptable in their own country. We have different brands here that we cannot even trace the manufacturers or importers and they are out there selling these products to Nigerians.”
Obayi said as a result of this, the warehouse would remain sealed until further directives from the SON’s director-general, adding that if the phones failed to meet the minimum requirements, they would be destroyed and the culprits prosecuted.
He said, “This shows that what they are doing here is illegal and we also suspect that these phones are substandard because if you look at them, we cannot identify the manufacturers and SON does not even know how they came in.
“Looking at the environment where they operate, you can even see that it is residential premises where they cannot be traced. We are making more arrests and we are moving on with the case because we have the right to prosecute them for killing the nation’s economy by depriving Nigerians of good jobs.”