The Association of Nigerian Licenced Customs Agents (ANLCA) has stated that its members now educate and enlighten importers of goods into the country on the need to adhere to standards set by regulatory agencies.
This was revealed by the National President of ANLCA, Mr. Iju Tony Nwabunike, at a stakeholders meeting organized by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) in Apapa, Lagos, recently.
According to him, “over time, the customs brokers have been victims of substandard importation by importers who, in some cases, failed to disclose to us the actual content or degree of compliance with extant rules like SON Confornmity Assessment Programmes (SONCAP).
“You will also agree with me that the influx of these illicit products, in addition to being injurious to our national economy, also spells doom for our people. A proverb among the lgbos says “When a man throws a stone into the market, he does not know whether it is his mother or another close relation that would be hit by the stone”.
The ANLCA boss added that “in view of copious challenges faced in our line of business, we have taken it upon ourselves to educate importers on the need for their compliance to safeguard lives and avoid losses emanating from seizures and destruction of fake and substandard goods.
“This task is daunting but we are not relenting because customs brokers have suffered an estimated cumulative losses amounting to over N20 billion in the last ten years for undertaking to clear goods discovered to be substandard.
“Let me put it clearly, that upon seizure of suspected fake or substandard goods after payment of duty, it will be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for an importer, whose consignments were seized to pay you the balance of the agreed sum even after the broker has spent his money on the logistics.”
“This is just a mild analogy of the costly price we as professionals are paying to achieve standards and build an enduring economy that will be beneficial to all.”
He recalled that “earlier this month, SON destroyed N480 million worth of substandard mobile phones, late last year, the organisation also destroyed 5000 fake gas cylinders valued at N51.3 million, these are just two examples of a routine activity that promotes quality in our country.
“Destroying investment channeled wrongly towards fake and substandard goods may look harsh, but preventing death, injuries and pains of buying poor standard imported items is a great humanitarian task. For the latter, I commend SON for saving lives.
“SON is raising the Nigeria flag high in the global standard community where over 164 countries converge under the aegis of Geneva based International Standard Organisation (ISON). We can only say, you should raise it higher.
“Under its present Chief Executive Officer Osita Aboloma, I can say that the bar is higher, even for the Nigerian Industrial Standards (NIS) which comes with the mark of quality for certified products”.

Infinity Tyres