The increasing numbers of issuers of fake products’ certificates of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) into the country’s commercial markets are grossly crippling the country’s manufacturing industry.
SON recently identified the trend as a factor bedeviling the smooth enforcement of its import standards requirements, adding that it was making moves to curb the menace.
As part of measures to carry out its task, the organization has integrated its registration processes with Nigeria Customs Service’s electronic trade platform – Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System (NICIS).
Dr. Joseph Odumodu, Director General of SON, who confirmed the move, said the integration of SON e-certificates into NICIS was aimed at checking influx of substandard goods into Nigeria.
This, he said, will facilitate trade which he described as key to government’s desire for 48 hours’ clearance of cargoes.
Odumodu said the process is convenient and time-saving as stakeholders could transact business on any device that has Internet from the comfort of their homes.
“The integration of SON e-certificates into NICIS will minimise and possibly eliminate the faking of SON’s certificates which was rampant. It will also improve compliance level with SON’s import requirements and standards, thereby minimising the influx of substandard, fake and dangerous products into the country,” he said.
The Central Bank of Nigeria is also partnering with SON on the e-registration programme.
Other agencies partnering the organization include NCS, all commercial banks and the Federal Inland Revenue Service.
The process which was initiated in 2013, it said would create a collaborative environment for government agencies to share real-time information for national security, national planning and compilation of national statistics.
Mr. Joseph Ajewole, Deputy Director, Trade and Exchange, CBN, who confirmed the bank’s involvement in the initiative, described it as a milestone in the effort to simplify trade processes in the country.
He said the NICIS has been one of the efforts aimed at facilitating trade because the automation of the Form ‘M’ has simplified trade processes for importers, traders, bankers and other stakeholders.
The automation process enables an importer to sit in the comfort of his house and complete his form ‘M’ without going to the bank.