Disturbed that hollow steel pipes manufacturers were not adhering to applicable standards, the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) has given the producers 90 days moratorium to comply with current Nigeria Industrial Standards (NIS) or face stiff sanctions.
The SON’s Acting Director-General, Dr Paul Angya who gave the directive during a SON/Steel Pipes Stakeholders’ Consultative forum in Lagos, disclosed that when the Inspectorate and Compliance team visited some steel pipes companies recently, some of them were not even aware of the applicable industrial standards, while some of the firms were even manufacturing according to the specifications given to them by particular clients.
He said: “We equally were astonished that some of the companies are yet to key into the SON’s Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) for local manufacturers even as there is no evidence of SON’s Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP) certification for the importation of their raw materials”.
Angya stated that SONCAP and MANCAP schemes are aimed at ensuring uniform quality of products and promoting trade. It is amazing, that the Pipe industry has been seen as an unorganized sector with all sorts of outputs. The situation cannot be tolerated in an organized economy. We have discovered the level of pipes in circulation without any identification marks for traceability of the pipes to particular manufacturers, non-compliant gauges and early corrosion as well as short length.
Angya stated that SON is poised to deal with companies, manufacturers, and dealers who have been cutting corners. “If you are trying to dodge regulation and regulatory agencies that means you are not doing the right thing. You and your company are circumventing the system; therefore you are one of those that do not want local industries to grow.
“We are determined to reduce the level of substandard products in circulation to the barest minimum; you are therefore offered this opportunity to embark on immediate house cleaning and serve your customers well. The time to begin is now and SON will do the best possible to protect those unsuspecting consumers,” he said.
He said that the change mantra of the Federal Government has no boundaries and so the sector should key into it positively or face the consequences. “The present SON under my watch will not condole the shortchanging of consumers’ value for money or flooding the markets with substandard products. SON will immediately shut down the operations anyone caught as an economic saboteur.
The acting director-general stressed that the meeting was to enable all hollow pipes manufacturing companies to know the right things to do and carry them out. “As it is our style, immediate enforcement begins after this forum while we give a guided grace period of 90 days for those who want to tidy up their non-conforming operations before we carry out wholesome raiding, seizure, and evacuation of all sub-standard pipes in w
He stressed that SON would not allow unscrupulous operators to kill the local initiative of the Federal Government’s economic diversification towards the non-oil economy. “We should all collaborate to ensure the stoppage of the high incidence of broken pipes in several nooks and crannies of the nation’s environment which cause wastages, damages, and economic losses, as well as safety and environmental concerns.”
The Vice-Chairman, Steel Pipe manufacturers group who also doubles as a senior official of WEMPCO group, Mr. Jide Mike assured SON that the manufacturers will abide by the new standard, and urged the agency to educate them on the applicable standard.